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Queen to have scaled back Trooping the Colour for second year in a row

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08:  Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew, Duke of York appear on the balcony during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Prince Charles, the Queen and Prince Andrew, on the balcony during Trooping The Colour, in 2019. (WireImage)

The Queen's annual birthday parade – Trooping the Colour – will be a scaled back affair for the second year in a row, it's been announced.

The Queen, who turns 95 next month, had to forego the usual huge celebration in London last year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, but it had been hoped it would return in 2021.

However Buckingham Palace confirmed on Friday afternoon that it would not go ahead.

A statement from the palace read: "Following consultation with Government and other relevant parties it has been agreed that The Queen’s Official Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, will not go ahead this year in its traditional form in central London.

"Options for an alternative Parade, in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle, are being considered.

"The annual Garter service, usually held in June, will not take place this year."

(L-R) Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge holding Prince Louis, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Britain's Princess Beatrice of York, Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal,, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's Princess Eugenie of York, Britain's Lady Louise Windsor, Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York,, Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex,, Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, James, Viscount Severn and Isla Phillips stand with other members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past of aircraft by the Royal Air Force, in London on June 8, 2019. - The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. Since 1748, the Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign. Over 1400 parading soldiers, almost 300 horses and 400 musicians take part in the event. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Trooping the Colour is usually a huge Royal Family affair as it was here in 2019. (AFP)
Trooping the Colour parade to mark the Queen's official birthday. (Photo credit should read Matthew Chattle / Barcroft Media / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Thousands of spectators line the mall to see the parade. (Barcroft Media)

Last year the Queen watched a smaller version of Trooping the Colour in the quadrangle at Windsor, where she had been living since March, having left London early on in the pandemic.

She's been in Windsor almost full time since, managing to enjoy some of her annual summer trip to Balmoral, but not moving back to Buckingham Palace.

The official Trooping the Colour website had been displaying tickets for the event, on 12 June, but on Friday afternoon displayed an error message.

Watch: Britain's Queen Elizabeth marks official birthday

The Trooping the Colour website said it was down because of technical difficulties. (MOD)
The Trooping the Colour website said it was down because of technical difficulties. (MOD)

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The event would have been held on 12 June, just nine days before the date the UK government has set for when all restrictions related to coronavirus can be lifted.

The cancellation of the London event may also raise questions about when and whether Harry and Meghan will return to the UK this summer.

It had previously been thought the couple would come back for family events like the Queen's birthday parade, which this year falls two days after the Duke of Edinburgh's 100th birthday.

The couple are also now expecting their second child in the summer.

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Queen Elizabeth II attends Trooping The Colour, the Queen's birthday ceremony at Windsor Castle on June 13, 2020 in Windsor, England. In line with Government advice, it was agreed that The Queen's Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, would not go ahead in its traditional form. (Photo by Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The Queen at her Trooping The Colour parade in 2020 in Windsor. (WireImage)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 13:  Queen Elizabeth II attends a ceremony to mark her official birthday at Windsor Castle on June 13, 2020 in Windsor, England. The Queen celebrates her 94th birthday this year, in line with Government advice, it was agreed that The Queen's Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, would not go ahead in its traditional form. (Photo by Paul Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Queen has staff with her but no family at the 2020 event. (Getty Images)

However Prince Harry is also due to come to the UK in July for the unveiling of a statue of his mother, Princess Diana, in the garden at Kensington Palace.

The statue will be unveiled on what would have been Diana's 60th birthday, and will see the reunion of the two brothers.

Trooping the Colour usually takes place on the second Saturday in June and marks the Monarch's official birthday.

The day was chosen more than 260 years ago by George II who repurposed the military occasion for his birthday, because the weather was better. His birthday was in November.

The Queen's real birthday is in April and is usually marked quietly with family. This year restrictions are still likely to be in place around the date she turns 95.