Britain's Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her official birthday on Saturday in subdued style, with a scaled-down version of the traditional "Trooping the Colour" ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trooping the Colour military parade
The 94-year-old monarch watched a smaller military parade in the grounds of Windsor Castle, where she has been staying during the COVID-19 outbreak, in her first official public appearance since the country's virus lockdown began in late March.
Members of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards take part in a ceremony to mark the Queen's official birthday at Windsor Castle on June 13, 2020. Photo: Paul Edwards/AFP
Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 94th birthday this year at the Trooping the Colour Parade. Photo: Paul Edwards/AFP
It was the first time the castle, west of London, has staged an event to mark a sovereign's official birthday since 1895 when a ceremony was held in honour of Queen Victoria.
The parade featured soldiers from the Welsh Guards, who observed government virus guidelines to keep at least two metres apart, in a ceremony dubbed "mini-Trooping".
Her Majesty, the Battalion's Colonel-in-Chief, took the Royal Salute at the ceremony and watched a series of military drills. 🥁💂 pic.twitter.com/9voPwFVNsM— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 13, 2020
🎥 highlights from today's Official Birthday ceremony./\r\n//\r\n/📺 Footage courtesy of the BBC. pic.twitter.com/NKCqB5fIMn— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 13, 2020
Scaled-down event due to COVID-19
The annual "Trooping" event, which normally features hundreds of servicemen and women from Britain's most prestigious regiments for a centuries-old spectacle of military pomp and pageantry in front of thousands of spectators, was cancelled because of the health crisis.
Britain has been among the worst-hit countries in the world by COVID-19, with the number of suspected and confirmed deaths passing the grim milestone of 50,000 this week.
Three cheers for Her Majesty! 📣💂 @WelshGuards pic.twitter.com/FlDebHGrke— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 13, 2020
The Queen enjoying today's military ceremony at Windsor Castle, held to mark Her Majesty's Official Birthday. 👇 pic.twitter.com/ZABtAZxUWN— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 13, 2020
The Queen observed Saturday's pared back ceremony in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle from a dais and was given the royal salute by the troops.
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Visibility during isolation
Despite isolating at the castle for the last three months, the elderly monarch has tried to remain visible, making a rare televised address to the nation in April and her debut on a digital platform this week in a video conference call.
She celebrated her actual 94th birthday on April 21 without the traditional gun salute, due to the health crisis. The double birthday tradition was started by King George II in 1748, who wanted to have a summer celebration as his own birthday was October 30.
Members of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards take part in a ceremony to mark her official birthday at Windsor Castle in Windsor, southeast England on June 13, 2020, as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 94th birthday this year. Photo by Paul EDWARDS/AFP
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