Don’t rain on her parade! The sun shined through the English clouds as Queen Elizabeth II enjoyed the Trooping the Colour.
Though her birthday is actually on April 21, the Sovereign’s birthday is typically celebrated the second weekend in June, regardless of when they were actually born. On Saturday, June 12, the queen, 95, took in her birthday parade, also known as the Trooping the Colour.
Typically, Elizabeth enjoys the Trooping the Colour’s finale from a crowded balcony at Buckingham Palace surrounded by her family, including Prince Charles, Prince William, Duchess Kate and more. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the queen watched the event by herself in a different location.
Rather than central London’s Buckingham Palace, the monarch’s official birthday celebration took place on the grounds of Windsor Castle. As usual, the Household Division marches with a regimental flag, known as a colour. The F Company Scots Guards, the Household Cavalry, trooped the colour of the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards through the parade.
Members of the public gathered outside the castle walls to see the Household Cavalry leave the parade and the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows in the sky trailing red, white and blue streaks through the clouds. The event ended with a 41-gun salute from The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the RAF flypast.
Though she wasn’t surrounded by her extended family or visited by any of her 11 great-grandchildren, Elizabeth’s cousin Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, was present at the ceremony.
This was the sovereign’s first official birthday without her husband, Prince Philip. The late Duke of Edinburgh died April 9, less than two weeks before the queen’s 95th birthday and two months before the birthday parade.
The queen dressed in blue-grey for the occasion, a muted color choice compared to her bright, colorful looks from years past. Still, she smiled as she watched the military take part in the traditional parade.
A royal insider told Us Weekly in April that the royal matriarch was struggling to deal with her longtime partner’s death. They were married for nearly 74 years.
“Her emotions are very raw right now, but the queen knows Philip would hate it if she sat around moping for the rest of her years,” the source explained. “He would have wanted her to look after herself first and foremost instead and she intends to do her best.”
Scroll down to see a closer look at the queen’s special day:
With only 275 people in the parade, the queen’s celebration was much smaller than usual due to COVID-19. Still, the parade was much bigger than the 2020 Trooping the Colour, which only included 85 soldiers. Eddie Mulholland/WPA Pool/Shutterstock
The mother of four wore her traditional matching pearl necklace and pearl earrings with a blue-grey coat that included some pops of yellow. The outfit was designed by her dresser, Angela Kelly, and was accessorized with a black Launer handbag. Eddie Mulholland/WPA Pool/Shutterstock
The queen beamed as she watched her official birthday celebration.
Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Shutterstock
Standing at Attention
Though it celebrates the sovereign’s birthday, the Trooping the Colour also highlights the British military.
Made in the Shade
The longtime ruler of the Commonwealth sat in the shade of a canopy as she watched the procession.
Without the Royal Family
The queen only had the Duke of Kent by her side during the festivities. Max Mumby/Pool/Shutterstock
The 70 horses and gunfire salute returned after being removed for the 2020 parade.
Steve Parsons/WPA Pool/Shutterstock