The Queen's official birthday is being celebrated with a new ceremony at Windsor castle today instead of the annual Trooping of Colour parade due to the coronavirus lockdown.
It's the second time in the 94-year-old monarch's 68-year reign that the parade in London has not gone ahead. In 1955, three years after the Queen's coronation, the event was cancelled due to a national rail strike.
In place of the parade, Windsor Castle played host to a ceremony with a small number of Welsh Guardsmen and military musicians. Social distancing rules were implemented for those marching.
The Queen, in a bright turquoise coat and hat, was pictured smiling at the event today, which marks the monarch's first appearance at an official event since the start of the pandemic.
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.
The Trooping the Colour parade in Whitehall is traditionally watched by thousands of royal fans and senior members of the royal family.
The Queen and Prince Philip relocated to Windsor during lockdown, and Buckingham Palace recently released a new photograph of Her Majesty and Philip in the grounds of Windsor Castle to mark his 99th birthday.
It was has been speculated 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. Buckingham Palace will be closed for the summer in the wake of the outbreak, in what is believed to be the first time in 27 years.
Despite her absence from the public stage, the Queen has kept in touch with the nation by delivering messages of reassurance during the crisis.
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