Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her official 94th birthday on Saturday by watching a parade and military band at the royal Windsor Castle instead of the usual Trooping the Colour ceremony in central London.
The queen was seen smiling as she sat watching Welsh Guards, wearing ceremonial bearskin hats and red tunics, stage choreographed marches and royal salutes on a lawn inside the castle.
Buckingham Palace said this year's ‘pared back’ version of the annual ceremony would ‘look very different,’ after it was revised to comply with Britain's coronavirus social distancing rules.
The queen and her husband of 72 years, Prince Philip, left London for Windsor Castle in April as a ‘sensible precuation’ amid the coronavirus pandemic, the royal family said.
Philip, who turned 99 on Wednesday, did not attend Saturday's event, which was broadcast live by the BBC.
Born in April 1926, the queen has ruled since 1952 when she was 25 years old.
In 2015, she surpassed the six-decade reign of Queen Victoria, her great-great grandmother, from 1837 to 1901.
The queen holds private celebrations of her actual birthday on April 21 followed by public events for her official birthday, normally on the second Saturday in June.
Dating back to the 18th century, Trooping the Colour takes place in Horse Guards Parade, close to Buckingham Palace, the queen's home in central London.
It takes its name from a ceremony to hand over the Colour, a regimental flag, and parade it through ranks of troops.
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