Trooping the Colour: The Queen’s Birthday Parade Free

London celebrates The Queen’s official birthday in June each year with Trooping the Colour, a fantastic military parade that has taken place in London since 1820.

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Trooping the Colour is an annual event that takes place on Horse Guards Parade near London’s St James’s Park, marking The Queen‘s official birthday.

The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is full of military pomp and pageantry as The Queen carries out an inspection of the troops from the Household Division.

The Queen then leads the troops down the Mall to Buckingham Palace, one of London’s most famous landmarks.

The Queen salutes and guns are fired in Green Park and at the Tower of London. Finally she joins other members of the Royal Family on the balcony to watch the RAF flypast.

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History of Trooping the Colour

After existing in various forms from around 1700, the Trooping the Colour ceremony was restored in 1820 on the accession of King George IV.

The main aspects of the parade have changed very little since then. Trooping the Colour has been held each year in London, apart from during the world wars and a national rail strike in 1955.

Although the official birthday is celebrated in June, Queen Elizabeth II’s actual birthday is in April. Monarchs are traditionally given a second birthday if they were born in winter, in case the weather is unsuitable for an outdoor event!

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Tickets for Trooping the Colour

Tickets for the Trooping the Colour are available to the public, however they must be applied for in writing in January or February and are then allocated by ballot. Applicants will have been informed by mid-March if they have been successful.

If you have not been lucky enough to have secured a ticket for Trooping the Colour, you can join the crowds of spectators along the Mall to watch all the action.

Alternatively, there are rehearsal events held on the two Saturdays before Trooping the Colour: The Major General’s Review on 30 May and The Colonel’s Review on 6 June.

Chestertons Polo in the Park

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Now in its seventh consecutive year, Chestertons Polo in the Park returns to the Hurlingham Club.

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This event promises another terrific instalment of fierce polo, as well as off-field entertainment and world-class hospitality, all located on the historic fields of Hurlingham Park in leafy Fulham. Kicking off another summer sporting and social season in the capital, this event has become one of London’s greatest outdoor occasions. Get close to international polo players, riding some of the world’s best polo ponies, as they thunder across the turf.

History will be made on the evening of Friday 5 June, as the England International polo team will play a match at Hurlingham Park for the first time since 1939.

Shop for luxury goods including jewellery, works of art and fine accessories in the Shopping Village, and delight your taste buds with trendy street food from independent vendors, washed down with cocktails and champagne.

History of Polo at Hurlingham Park

Polo was first played at Hurlingham Park in 1874. In 1908 Hurlingham hosted the Olympic polo final (where England won a gold medal). The Hurlingham Club was the headquarters of British polo for 65 years, and the name became synonymous with the sport. But during the Second World War the polo ground was converted into allotments, with the last major polo event taking place in 1939.

Spitalfields Music Summer Festival 2015

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See great live music events in elegant and interesting locations at the Spitalfields Summer Music Festival.

One of the highlight events in the music calendar, the festival has been delighting audiences for 39 years, with its broad mixture of musical styles and performers. Artists Emily Hall, La Nuova Musica and Shabaka Hutchings have curated a diverse line up.

Composer Emily Hall is set to unveil her intriguing latest work Folie à Deux, or “a madness shared by two”. The Renaissance vocal group Stile Antico celebrates its tenth anniversary, while female chorus Women Sing East perform with French-Norwegian visual artist Caroline Bergvall, using site-specific artwork. Composer and saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings presents Spitalfields Re-Sounded, an unusual project that uses the natural, ambient sounds of the area as music.

With intimate performances in the historic Huguenot houses of the area and a show at the Tower of London, never before has such a diverse range of music been so stylishly presented.

Udderbelly Festival at Southbank Centre

Enjoy a fun-packed festival of live acts beneath a giant upside-down purple cow, as the Southbank Centre’s Udderbelly Festival returns to the banks of the Thames.

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The vibrant season of events sees a wide range of comedy, circus, music and all manner of novelty and variety acts over the early weeks of the summer.

Highlights this year include Circus Maximus, one of the nation’s leading circus competitions, where daring and inventive acts battle it out for audience applause and votes. This joins Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel, a hilariously wacky show performed in regency costume by a cast of rising stars; while Andrew Maxwell (star of hit TV show Mock the Week) keeps the laughter going with his witty take on life in the capital.

Add this line-up to a comedy club for kids to practice their jokes, child-friendly shows and outdoor bars, and there’s never a dull moment while the purple cow is in town.

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Tate Modern

Many Britons regard high culture with suspicion. Yet this gallery devoted to modern art effortlessly pulls in the punters and locals as well as the tourists, and ranks among London’s most-visited attractions. Part of its appeal is the building itself, fashioned by architects Herzog and De Meuron from a vast disused power station on the Thames’s south bank. In addition to blockbuster exhibits and live events, the gallery invites a prominent artist every year to transform its cavernous turbine hall: Chinese artist and dissident Ai Wei Wei blanketed the space with 100 million hand-sculpted and painted porcelain sunflower seeds in 2010; British artist Tacita Dean paid homage to 35mm filmmaking in 2011 with her 11-minute loop of grainy, flickering images projected onto a towering screen at the rear of the hall.

It would be easy to spend the entire day in the gallery, but you might want to get out and walk around the neighborhood: Enter foodie heaven in nearby Borough Market, where the delis and restaurants are open all week and a farmer’s market operates Friday and Saturday. Directly across the river from the Tate is St Paul’s Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren’s most celebrated building. To get there you cross the £18.2 million Millennium Bridge, a suspension footbridge completed in 2000, which quickly gained the sobriquet the “Wobbly Bridge.” (They’ve since fixed the wobble.)