Cover image: Andrew Matthews/Press Association.
The 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards has been given the honour of Trooping its Colour for the Queen’s Birthday parade this year on 9 June.
On the day, the battalion will have to perfect hundreds of precision drill moves and put on their best uniform display.
In preparation, soldiers have been undergoing inspections at Victoria Barracks, Windsor, by a host of Army judges: the Garrison Sergeant Major, the Master Tailor, the Brigade Major, and the Major General Commanding the Household Division, Major General Ben Bathurst.
Troops were on military knowledge, history, values and standards, while their uniforms, presentation and drill will be minutely examined.
It allows time for any flaws to be corrected in time for Trooping the Colour.
Who Are The Coldstream Guards?
It is the oldest Regiment in the British Army, having been in constant service since 1650.
The Coldstream Guards are highly decorated, winning a total of 13 Victoria Crosses.
They have served operationally in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
On completion of Trooping the Colour, the regiment will prepare to deploy to Malaysia in the autumn for an operational training exercise.
What Does 'Trooping The Colour' Mean?
Colours are the Regimental Flags of the British Army, originally used as rallying points on the battlefield as long ago as the Kings of Babylon.
They were vital in a time before modern communications, when it was all too easy for troops to become disorientated on a battlefield.
Colours were last carried into action by the 58th Foot in South Africa in 1881.
They are always carried by an officer and accompanied by an armed escort.
In the middle ages, each Lord or Baron flew his banner as a sign by which his followers could distinguish him in battle.
By the time of Elizabeth I's reign, there were many low born captains in the infantry who had no arms to bear on their standards and had to trust to the distinction of colour only.
Consequently, their battle flags assumed a variety of hues and came to be known as 'colours'.