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The Royal Family in London. When, Where and How to see the Royal Family

The Royal Family are Ambassadors of the United Kingdom and London for a worldwide audience. When one visits London, hoping to spot one or more members of the Royal Family can be an important goal. The best chance for this is at one of the 3 events described here.

Trooping of the Colour, the State Opening of Parliament and State Visits are events that they attend each year. These are free events open to the public. However, unlike Royal Garden parties, which are only open to invitees, you will not get opportunity to meet the sovereign. The Trooping of the Colour is in a lot more detail than the others, which really reflects the level of interesting information there is on it.

Trooping of the Colour

This event on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd Saturday in June, is to celebrate the sovereigns official birthday. It was first performed during the reign of Charles II. The royal family accompany their troops in procession. They depart from Buckingham Palace, they move along the Mall to Horse Guards Parade.

State Opening of Parliament

Usually this takes place in October or November. It is steeped in symbolism. The Queen opens a new session of Parliament. A hostage Member or Parliament is held at Buckingham Palace.The Yeomen of the Guard search cellars in the Houses of Parliament (Westminster Palace). The Royal Family then travel along the Mall.

State Visits

These royal events are held twice a year, dates vary. State Visits comprise formal visits of overseas Heads of State hosted by the Queen. These usually take place at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle. Visits generally begin with a welcome parade. If the guest is staying at Buckingham Palace, the event takes place on Horse Guards Parade.

This means the public can see the Queen (and the visiting president or monarch) in the ensuing procession. Usually the procession will be from Horse Guards to Buckingham Palace. Viewing points along the Mall are a good opportunity to see the Queen in London.