Commonwealth Coat of Arms



DPIO 98/98

Friday, June 5, 1998



The annual Trooping of the Queen's Colour to celebrate the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11, the Queen of Australia, is to be held at the Royal Military College of Australia, Duntroon tomorrow (6/6).

The parade, to begin at 10.15 am will be reviewed by the Governor-General, Sir William Deane.

The annual Trooping of the Queen's Colour is perhaps the most colourful and picturesque ceremonial activity conducted at the College. It is an occasion on which the discipline, pride and bearing of the Corps of Staff Cadets is displayed at its best advantage.

The custom of carrying Colours has its origin in ancient and medieval times when, during battle, warring factions carried flags bearing family badges or armorial bearings to show the position of commanders and to serve as rallying points. The Colours embody the history, spirit and traditions of the unit to which they belong. They are highly valued, carefully guarded and treated with great respect.

Since 1751 regiments have been allowed two colours only: the Queen's (or King's) Colour and the Regimental Colour. Although no longer carried into battle, Colours remain a symbol of the regiment, for in them are borne the battle honours granted in recognition of gallant deeds performed by its members.

The origin of the Trooping of the Colour is concerned with the lodging of the colour, which consisted of the Colour or Colours being displayed from the ensign's quarters, or some other safe place. The battalion marched past the Colours and so came to know, in case of alarm, the place of their rallying point. This ceremony gradually grew in complexity and dignity until in 1755 it was incorporated into the regular guard mounting parade of the Foot Guards, to lend interest to the occasion. The music played during the "lodging" was called a 'troop' and gradually the word 'trooping' ousted the 'lodging' as descriptive of the ceremony.

The Queen's Colour was trooped for the first time at the Royal Military College of Australia on the Queen's Birthday Parade in 1956, a practice which has continued since then.

Colours were first presented to the Corps of Staff Cadets by His Majesty King George V1 when, as Duke of York, he visited Australia in 1927. These colours are now lodged in Patterson Hall, the Headquarters of the Royal Military College of Australia. The present colours were presented by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11 on 10 May 1988.

The Champion Company of the Corps of Staff Cadets is named after the Sovereign's Company and it carries the Queen Elizabeth the Second's Banner, which was first presented to the Corps of Staff Cadets by Her Majesty the Queen Mother on February 26, 1958. The Sovereign's Company is entitled to carry the Banner on all ceremonial parades as well as escorting the Queen's Colour during the Trooping of the Colour. In 1998 Kapyong Company is the Sovereign's Company.

The Royal Military College of Australia was founded in 1911 on the historic Duntroon property. In the 87 years of its history, the College has graduated over five thousand young men and women from all walks of life to be officers in the regular armies of Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Vanuatu and Kuwait.

For Further Information on the Queen's Birthday parade, please ring the Protocol Section at the Royal Military College of Australia on (02) 62759515, or (02) 6275 9539.