The March Past of the Footguards

The Guards Officers take their posts. The Colour moves to the rear of the Escort and No's 1 to 5 Guards are ordered to turn about by the mounted 'Adjutant of the Parade'.

No's 2 to 5 Guard right form at the halt to music from the Drums.

The March Past

No's 1 to 5 guards now turn about and then all the guards begin their march past in line abreast in slow time. The 'Field Officer in Brigade Waiting' and 'Major of the Parade' (who are both mounted) take their places at the head of the troops for the salute.

As each corner of the parade ground is negotiated, the officer orders his company to "prepare to change direction, left" and one of the NCOs positioned on the edges of the front rank of the company, known as the 'Right Guide' or 'Left Guide', will call "Right Sir!" as he reaches the correct position, as a signal to the officer to give the order "Left Form!" ordering the company to change direction.

Left Form
(Photo courtesy of Sgt. Paul Shaw LBIPP (Army))

Video clip of the 'Left Form'
(clip provided by
Benjamin Whiley)

Execution of the Left Form

The guards conduct left forms at each corner of the parade ground. The guards are marching in line, and on the command "CHANGE DIRECTION LEFT, LEFT - FORM!", the 'left guide' executes a left turn on the march and everyone else in the front rank executes a left incline (45 degrees). The 'left guide' marches for a further 5 paces and then marks time. Each subsequent file then marches a further two (7, 9, 11, etc) and commences marking time until the 'right guide' reports "RIGHT, SIR" and the guard commander orders "FOR-WARD!". The guards also use 'clearing point drill' in order to alleviate the congestion that would otherwise develop. This is done by having all those in a guard in the middle of its form, acting on the "FOR-WARD!" of the guard ahead of them, marching out 7 paces and then commencing marking time again until their guard completes the form.
(Above description courtesy of gfed)

General view of the March Past by the Foot Guards

The Colour is lowered in salute as it passes the Queen at the saluting base. The lowering of the colour is known as the 'Flourish' and the raising of it, after passing the dais, is known as the 'Recover'.

The Colour is lowered in salute

As each regiment of footguards passes the saluting base, the bands play their Regimental Slow Marches. The Regimental Slow Marches are: The Grenadier Guards 'Scipio', The Coldstream Guards 'Figaro' (Mozart 1764), The Scots Guards 'The Garb of Old Gaul' (John Reed 1770) , The Irish Guards 'Let Erin Remember' and The Welsh Guards 'Men of Harlech'.

The Adjutant brings up the rear of the march past

The Adjutant (mounted) brings up the rear of the march past. As he clears the saluting base, the Field Officer rides out 10 yards from behind the dais, turns his horse and salutes Her Majesty.

The bands pause momentarily whilst the Field Officer orders the Quick March (15 paces per minute).

The Field Officer

The Field Officer then rides across to lead the parade again in the March Past in quick time. The Guards then march past to their Regimental Quick Marches.

Eyes Right!

The Regimental Quick Marches are: The Grenadier Guards - 'The British Grenadiers', The Coldstream Guards - 'Milanollo' adopted in 1882, The Scots Guards - 'Hielan' Laddie' (originally known as 'Cockleshells' and written in 1701), The Irish Guards - 'St. Patrick's Day' (probably first appeared in print in 1749, although it is thought to have been known as early as 1615) and The Welsh Guards - 'The Rising of the Lark'.

The Field Officer salutes The Queen

The Adjutant again brings up the rear of the parade and the Field Officer rides out once more to salute Her Majesty.

Trooping the Colour
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