Wednesday, 28 Oct 2020

Queen to celebrate her birthday with official event – but away from public eye

The Queen will be seen at her first official outside event since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as a small military parade is held to mark her official birthday.

A short ceremonial event will take place on Saturday in the grounds of Windsor Castle after Trooping The Colour, which was due to take place, had to be cancelled due to the restrictions introduced because of COVID-19.

Usually thousands of people gather along the Mall and in front of Buckingham Palace to watch the military parade and to see members of the Royal Family as they travel in carriages, and on horseback, before appearing on the balcony together.

The display normally involves 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses, 400 musicians and culminates with a flypast over the palace

Instead a brief military ceremony will take place inside the grounds of Windsor Castle carried out by a detachment from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, whose colour was due to be trooped this year at The Queen’s Birthday Parade on Horse Guards.

The Welsh Guards are currently stationed at Windsor Castle. The soldiers and band of the Household Division have had to learn new ceremonial drill moves to make sure they stay at least two metres apart.

Trooping The Colour has marked the official birthday of the monarch for more than 260 years. The tradition was started by King George II whose birthday was in November. Because the weather wasn’t very good at that time of year he decided to combine an official birthday parade with an annual military parade in the summer.

The palace is discouraging people from travelling to Windsor this weekend, due to social distancing restrictions.

Members of the public will not see any of the military parade as it will take place inside the castle grounds.

The Queen has been at Windsor Castle throughout the pandemic, along with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, who celebrated his 99th birthday last Wednesday.

A new photograph of the couple was released to mark the occasion.

Her Majesty hasn’t been seen at any official events since lockdown started but this week took part in her first official video call, with her daughter Princess Anne, talking to carers across the country to celebrate their efforts.

Her Majesty has recorded two televised messages for the nation during the pandemic, but both were filmed under strict restrictions to protect her from the virus.

She was photographed two weeks ago riding a pony in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

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