King Charles and Queen Camilla on their Coronation Day, May 6, 2023.

King Charles and Queen Camilla on their Coronation Day, May 6, 2023. Getty

June 17th, 2023, marked His Majesty's first Trooping the Colour as King and crowds witnessed a historic moment on the day.

Trooping the Colour is an annual extravaganza that has marked the official birthday of the British sovereign for over 260 years. While King Charles' actual birthday isn't until November 14th, this annual celebration is known as The King's Birthday Parade. 

Making the occasion even more special, Buckingham Palace announced that King Charles would take part in Trooping the Colour on horseback, the first time a sovereign has done so since Queen Elizabeth II’s last outing in 1986. 

What happens during Trooping the Colour?

Over 1400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians come together each June in a great display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare. 

The streets are lined with crowds waving flags as the parade moves from Buckingham Palace and down The Mall to the Horse Guard's Parade, alongside Members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages.

The display closes with an RAF fly-past, watched by Members of the Royal Family from the Buckingham Palace balcony.

Once the Sovereign has arrived at Horse Guard's Parade in Whitehall, they are greeted by a Royal salute and carry out an inspection of the troops, who are fully trained and operational soldiers wearing the ceremonial uniform of red tunics and bearskin hats.

After the military bands have performed, the escorted Regimental Colour, or flag, is processed down the ranks of soldiers. Over one hundred words of command are used by the Officer in Command of the Parade to direct the several hundred soldiers.

Once the Foot Guards have marched past the Sovereign, they ride back to Buckingham Palace at the head of the soldiers, before taking the salute again at the Palace from a dais. 

The Sovereign is then joined by other Members of the Royal Family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past by the Royal Air Force. A 41-gun salute is also fired in Green Park to mark the occasion. 

At a special ceremony at Clarence House, Queen Camilla officially named the Drum Horse that would lead the Housland Calvary Band at the parade - meet Juno!

Juno carried the rank of Major and was front and centre as she helped lead the mounted parade down The Mall to Horse Guards. To mark the official naming, The Queen presented Juno with a headcollar featuring a brass name plaque.

By tradition, Drum Horses are given names from classical mythology. The late Queen Elizabeth II chose the names of the Drum Horses throughout her reign. Previous names have included Hector, Leonidas, Janus, Spartacus, Constantine, Horatius and Mercury. Juno will join the other Drum Horses, who are Perseus, Atlas and Apollo 

To be considered ready for the Parade, Juno showed that she could be ridden with reins operated by the stirrups, while carrying an adult in full ceremonial uniform, along with the two silver kettledrums. She also proved that she was able to cope with crowd noise and be confident to stand out in front and lead the band.