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. 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 Palace event. According to CBS, Saturday was Her Majesty’s first public showing since the pandemic began.
Prince William and 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, Markle 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.
This article was originally posted on yahoo.com/entertainment/.