Trooping the Colour
The annual Trooping the Colour parade takes place in June Chris Jackson/Getty

The Queen's official birthday will be marked this weekend with the ceremony of the Trooping the Colour, an annual parade that takes place in June. More than 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will feature in the event. Here is everything you need to know about the parade.

When is it?

The military parade will take place on Saturday 11 June in 2016, with events starting at 10am and a fly-past at 1pm. The parade route extends from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and then back again.

What happens?

Also known as the Queen's birthday parade, Trooping the Colour is a military tradition that dates back to the 1700s. It is a military parade and march-past carried out on Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall, in front of spectators. The troops taking part in the parade are fully trained, operational units from the Household Division.

The display closes with an RAF fly-past, watched by members of the royal family from the Buckingham Palace balcony.

When did the tradition start?

According to the British Army, the Trooping the Colour parade has its origins in two old military ceremonies - Trooping the Colour and Mounting The Queen's Guard.

"The origin of the ceremony goes back to the early eighteenth century, and possibly even earlier, when the guards and sentries for the Royal Palaces and other important buildings in the capital were mounted daily on the parade ground by the Horse Guards building," the British Army website reads.

"A feature of guard mounting was for the colours of the battalion to be carried (or "trooped") slowly down the ranks so that they could be seen and recognised by the soldiers. In 1748 it was ordered that this parade would also mark the official birthday of the Sovereign. From the accession of George IV the parade became – with the few exceptions of two World Wars and a parade cancellation in 1955 caused by a national rail strike – an annual event."

How can I watch?

Although tickets for seated stands around Horse Guards Parade are sold out, members of the public who want to view the spectacle can stand on The Mall or near St James's Park overlooking the Horse Guards. It is advised to arrive by 9am at the latest, as it is expected to be extremely busy. The parade will also be broadcast live on BBC One.