CE050 The Parade Commander
In charge of the entire ceremony on Horse Guards Parade is the mounted ‘Parade Commander’. This senior officer, usually a full colonel, is selected from one of the five Guards Regiments on parade that day.
This particular Parade Commander is a Colonel of The Coldstream Guards.
This ceremony has been performed by army regiments of the British and Commonwealth nations since the mid 17th Century.
In olden times, on the battlefield, a regiment’s ‘colours’ or flags, were used as rallying points before the age of electronics and field radios.
Regiments back then would have their ensigns (junior officers) carry their ‘colours’ slowly through the assembled rank and file to enable the soldiers to recognize their own regimental flags during the battle.
Beginning in 1750, ‘Trooping The Colour’ has also in Britain, signified the Sovereign’s official birthday. Each year, ever since, a huge military ceremony is usually held on the second Saturday in June on Horse Guards Parade in London.