For the second year in a row, Trooping the Colour has been scaled back due to COVID-19

By Stephanie Petit
June 04, 2021 10:26 AM
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Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth
| Credit: Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth will be joined by her cousin at this year's Trooping the Colour.

For the second year in a row, the public celebration of the monarch's birthday has been scaled down due to the coronavirus pandemic. But on June 12, Queen Elizabeth will be accompanied by Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, to see a parade in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle.

Upon their arrival, the Queen and Prince Edward will be greeted by a royal salute and the national anthem will be played.

The parade will be held by the Household Division, led by the Foot Guards and joined by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. Music will be played by a Massed Band of the Household Division, which will include 1st Battalion Scots Guards Pipes and Drums.

The parade will commence with a 41-gun royal salute from Windsor Castle's East Lawn.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
| Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

This marks Queen Elizabeth's first Trooping the Colour since her husband Prince Philip died on April 9 at age 99. Prince Philip retired from royal duties in 2017 and skipped the public birthday festivities in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

queen elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth at Trooping the Colour 2020
| Credit: Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

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Trooping the Colour usually attracts thousands of people onto the streets of central London to view the procession of horseback-riding royals and carriages. The day's highlight is the royal family gathering on the iconic Buckingham Palace balcony to witness a traditional fly-past.

Last year, the army staged a smaller-scale parade and celebration at Windsor Castle, with just the Queen in attendance. 

Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Princess Beatrice, Lady Louise Windsor, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Savannah Phillips, Prince George of Cambridge and Isla Phillips
Trooping the Colour 2018
| Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
meghan markle, prince harry, kate middleton
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton at Trooping the Colour 2019
| Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage

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Although the Queen's 95th birthday was on April 21, Trooping the Colour always takes place in the early summer of the second weekend in June. The reason is a practical matter more than anything: the weather is nicer!

The tradition is believed to have started during the reign of King George II in 1748. George II was born in October, but the annual Trooping of the Colour became a celebration of the monarch as well as the armed forces.