The Queen's unusual first appearance since lockdown

Although Queen Elizabeth could not celebrate her 94th birthday with an official Trooping the Colour ceremony amid the coronavirus pandemic, she enjoyed a modest version of the event on Saturday.

Technically, the queen observes her birthday twice a year — on April 21, the month she was born, and on the second Saturday of June with an event called Trooping the Colour, a 260 year-old celebration to honor the British Sovereign.

Queen Elizabeth enjoyed a smaller version of the Trooping the Colour ceremony on her June 13 birthday. Photo: Getty Images

According to the royal website, thousands of soldiers and hundreds of horses and music makers form a parade for cheering fans who wave British flags. In the past, her Majesty joined on horseback but in her later years, sits comfortably in a carriage.

In another portion, the entire royal family — including the queen’s son Prince Charles, his son Prince William and wife Kate Middleton and before they relocated to the U.S., Prince Harry and Meghan Markle — assembles on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to witness an aerial show by the Royal Air Force and a 41-gun salute is fired.

However this year, the Welsh Guards gave an enthusiastic but downsized performance — spaced out by six feet — and there was a royal salute and impressive military drills.

The Queen’s husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who turned 99 on Wednesday, was not pictured at the Windsor Castle event.

The royal family assembles on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the Trooping of the Colour ceremony in 2019. Photo: Getty Images

Prince William and Kate Middleton promoted the occasion on Twitter, despite their packed schedules.

The prince has been working undercover for the mental health crisis text line Shout, which he co-founded. And the couple has paid tribute to veterans, healthcare workers and teachers in a series of virtual meetings.

And while they no longer officially represent the royal family having stepped down in March, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have stayed in the limelight — in April, the couple delivered free meals to people in need with the charity group Angel Food during the city quarantine. And to kick off June, Meghan gave a moving virtual speech to graduates of Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, where she once attended, on the Black Lives Matter movement.

Over the years, Trooping the Colour has created stand-out memories — last year, Kate and William’s two-year-old son Prince Louis made his debut on the balcony, adorably waving to the crowd.

And in 2018, their six-year-old son Prince George was photographed goofing around with the Queen’s great-granddaughter Savannah Phillips.

Last year, Meghan made her first (gorgeous) postpartum appearance at the parade only weeks after giving birth to her and Harry’s son Archie.

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