Guardsmen bearing marker flags, known as Keepers of the Gound, march on to Horse Guards Parade and mark the positions for each of No.1 to No.6 Guards. These marker flags are the respective company colours of each regiment taking part.
The six Foot Guard companies march on to Horse Guards Parade via The Mall preceded by Regimental Bands and form an extended L-Shape around the perimeter of the square. This echoes the defensive formation known as 'The Hollow Square' that, in battle, would have stood to protect the precious Colour.
No.1 Guard is referred to as the 'Escort for the Colour' until it has collected the Colour to be trooped, whereupon it is known as the 'Escort to the Colour'.
The Colour Party, consisting of three men, marches to the centre of the parade ground and takes post in front of and to the left of No.6 Guard. The Duty Drummer then marches out and the Colour is uncased.
The Massed Bands take up position on the south side of the parade ground.
Additional half-companies of Guards line the route from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade.
The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, the Household Cavalry and the Mounted Bands form up behind No.1 to No.5 Guards either side of the Guards Memorial on the edge of St. James's Park.
After the Guards are formed up, members of the Royal Family arrive in two barouche coaches. No.3 Guard opens ranks to allow the carriages to pass through. The carriages then enter Horse Guards building where their occupants alight to view the ceremony from a room that was once used by The Duke of Wellington as his office.
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