Mini Trooping the Colour at Windsor Castle planned for Queen's birthday

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Princess Beatrice, Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Queen surrounded by the Royal Family at the 2019 event. (Getty Images)

A mini version of Trooping the Colour will take place at Windsor Castle to mark the Queen’s official birthday.

The Queen, who turned 94 in isolation in her Berkshire home, is facing a quieter official birthday too, as the usual military parade cannot take place in its usual way, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But it has emerged that a smaller version of the parade, which the Queen used to ride in herself, will take place in Windsor with no crowds.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “There will be a small, brief, military ceremony at Windsor Castle to mark the Queen’s official birthday.”

Trooping the Colour became the monarch’s official birthday around the time of George II, whose November birthday was often hit by bad weather.

To remedy this, he co-opted the annual Trooping in the summer as his official celebrations.

11th June 1953:  Queen Elizabeth II taking the salute at the trooping of the colour on her official birthday in London. She is wearing the uniform of the Grenadier Guards Colonel-in-Chief and is accompanied by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.  (Photo by J. A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II in Trooping the Colour in 1953. (Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth takes part in the Trooping the Colour parade in central London, Britain June 8, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
The Queen usually rides down the mall in London in a carriage now. (Reuters)

Read more: Why does the Queen have two birthdays?

Since then, the monarch has marked their own birthday quietly and had a formal celebration in June.

The Queen’s father held the Trooping on the second Thursday in June, but she moved it to the second Saturday in June.

This is likely to be the first time the ceremony has been held in Windsor.

Her 94th birthday was particularly quiet this year because of the pandemic. The Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, have been in Windsor Castle since the middle of March and look unlikely to go anywhere else any time soon.

She would usually be there each weekend, having conducted her working week from Buckingham Palace. They would spend the summer together in Scotland, but it’s not clear if they will be able to go this year.

Philip, who turns 99 next week, would be at their Norfolk home of Sandringham.

Read more: Queen seen in public for first time since coronavirus lockdown began

The Queen’s official birthday is three days after her husband’s birthday, which will reportedly be a quiet affair this year. The palace does not comment on private matters.

The Trooping the Colour ends each year with the Royal Family gathering on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the RAF Flypast.

Queen Elizabeth II inspects the Household Cavalry during the Colour at Horse Guards Parade, London.   (Photo by Anthony Devlin/PA Images via Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II inspects the Household Cavalry during the Colour at Horse Guards Parade. (Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 15: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Harry, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the annual Trooping the Colour Ceremony on June 15, 2013 in London, England. Today's ceremony which marks the Queen's official birthday will not be attended by Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh as he recuperates from abdominal surgery. This will also be The Duchess of Cambridge's last public engagement before her baby is due to be born next month. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The Queen at the 2013 Trooping the Colour. (Getty Images)

It’s understood Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had intended to take up their invitation to the celebration this year, despite their move to Los Angeles.

Prince Andrew was unlikely to attend. He has reportedly been permanently sidelined from royal duties after his disastrous interview about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.

The Queen has had to cancel many of her usual royal events this year, including the Buckingham Palace garden parties, and even called off the gun salutes which would have marked her real birthday in April.

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She will likely be buoyed by the return of horse racing, and her coronation day on Tuesday was marked with a win in Kempton.

She was seen riding her horse earlier this week, the first pictures of her out and about since the lockdown began.