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Image / Editorial

The Queen’s official Birthday is taking place at Windsor Castle

by Jennifer McShane
13th Jun 2020

The Queen’s official birthday was celebrated this weekend with a new ceremony at Windsor Castle instead of the annual Trooping of Colour parade due to the coronavirus 

Traditionally marked by the Trooping of Colour in mid-June, this year’s ceremony was a more laid-back affair thanks to the effects of Covid-19.

Gone was the usual from Buckingham Palace, instead, the Monarch, dressed in a mint-green suit and matching hat, viewed a military ceremony executed by members of the 1st Battalion of Welsh Guards at Windsor Castle, where she is self-isolating with the Duke of Edinburgh and reduced staff.

Taking place in the complex’s famous quadrangle, the celebration opened and closed with a royal salute, and featured a cheering musical performance by a Band of the Household Division.

The history

The Queen actually turned 94 on April 21st, but her birthday is officially celebrated on the second Saturday of June every year, a public affair where, typically, hundreds of members of the public gather.

The tradition of the British monarch having “private” and “public” birthdays was first established by George II in 1748, who wanted to have a yearly parade thrown in honour of his birth, but, being born on 9th November, he realised that the weather would not be suitable for such outdoor festivities, opting to hold the event in the warmer summer months instead. Hence now it is an annual royal tradition.

What is Trooping The Colour?

The ceremony consists of  1400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians come together each June in a display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare to mark The Queen’s official birthday.

Generally, the streets are lined with crowds waving flags as the parade moves from Buckingham Palace and down The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade, alongside Members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages.

The display closes with an RAF fly-past, watched by Members of the Royal Family from Buckingham Palace balcony. The Queen’s actual birthday is generally spent privately, with gun salutes taking place in her honour in Hyde Park, the Tower of London, and Windsor Great Park.

Main photograph: @RoyalFamily 

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