The Queen will celebrate her official birthday on Saturday 13 June, but due to COVID-19, it will be a very pared-down affair compared to previous years. Usually, the royals gather for Trooping the Colour where they travel in procession via horse-drawn carriage from Buckingham Palace, along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back again. Members of the family will then stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to greet crowds and watch the spectacular RAF flypast.
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While the event will still go ahead this year, it will be in a different format. Her Majesty will view a military ceremony in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle, where she is currently residing with husband Prince Philip. The ceremony will be executed by soldiers from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, who are currently on guard at Windsor Castle, and feature music performed by a Band of the Household Division. Upon her arrival in the Quadrangle, the Queen will be greeted by a Royal Salute. A series of military drills will then be carried out as the band plays, and the ceremony will conclude with a second salute before the Queen’s departure.
Prior to 1987, the Queen rode in the parade
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As the event will take place entirely within the confines of Windsor Castle, there will be no viewing positions for the public. Therefore, in accordance with government guidelines, the Queen has asked that members of the public do not travel to Windsor town centre or gather in the hope of seeing any of the ceremony.
The monarch, then Princess Elizabeth, first attended Trooping the Colour in 1947, and since becoming Queen in 1952, has never missed the event – save for one occasion. That occurred in 1955 when the whole event had to be cancelled due to a national rail strike. Since 1987, the Queen has attended in a carriage rather than riding in the parade; prior to that she rode side-saddle, wearing the uniform of the regiment whose Colour was being trooped.
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