The Queen celebrated her birthday with a scaled back military parade at Windsor Castle, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the past, official celebrations to mark a King or Queen’s birthday in the UK have been held on June 13 that isn’t their actual birthday.
The double birthday tradition was started more than 250 years ago by King George II in 1748.He was born in November, which is not known in the UK for its good weather.
But King George wanted it to be possible to have a big public celebration – and November wasn’t the time do it. So, given that his actually birthday wouldn’t be a good time of year for a birthday parade, he decided to combine it with an annual military parade in the summer, when the weather would hopefully be nice.
And so this is where the tradition of an official, public summer birthday for the monarch began!
The Queen usually spends her actual birthday with her family. There is usually a 41-gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21-gun salute in Windsor Great Park and a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London on April 21 but they have been cancelled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. A Buckingham Palace official said the monarch had decided it would not be appropriate at this time.It is believed to be the first time in her 68-year reign that it hasn’t happened. The Trooping the Colour parade marks her official birthday and usually takes place in June, but that has also been cancelled this year.
It is only the second time in her 68-year reign that the parade has not gone ahead. A small ceremony with Welsh Guardsmen and military musicians has taken place at Windsor Castle instead.
The small ceremonial event, specially designed in just two weeks to ensure the soldiers can maintain social distancing, replaces the traditional Trooping The Colour in central London, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 restrictions.