Prince Philip was notably absent from the Queen's official birthday parade at Windsor Castle yesterday afternoon.
In place of Trooping the Colour in Whitehall due to coronavirus restrictions, Windsor Castle hosted a paired-down version of the parade with a small number of Welsh Guardsmen and military musicians. Social distancing rules were implemented for those marching.
It also marked the 94-year-old monarch's first appearance at an official event since the start of the pandemic. The Queen attended without Philip - who has been residing with Her Majesty in Windsor since lockdown - which prompted some to speculate about his health.
However, as it was an official engagement, 99-year-old Philip wasn't present because he retired from public duties in 2017. He attended his final Trooping the Colour in 2017.
But the Queen wasn't completely without company during the event. Some viewers spotted staff members enjoying the spectacle from various buildings at Windsor Castle during the BBC live stream.
Twitter account Gert's Royals shared images of staff watching the parade from the windows.
Castle staff watch Trooping the Colours from the Windows of various buildings at Windsor Castle. pic.twitter.com/7sfaaWfj2N— Gert's Royals (@Gertsroyals) June 13, 2020
The birthday parade was also the first to be held at Windsor Castle since 1895 during the reign of Queen Victoria.
The Queen actually turned 94 in April, but her birthday is officially celebrated on the second Saturday of June every year. Traditional gun salutes to mark the date on April 21 were cancelled, as the monarch felt it would be inappropriate in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.
It's believed that the monarch will remain at Windsor "indefinitely", and withdraw from public duties for months to come due to the pandemic.
It is expected to be the longest absence from official engagements in Her Majesty's 68-year reign. However, the Queen has kept in touch with the nation by delivering messages of reassurance during the crisis.
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