How will the Queen celebrate her birthday in 2021? Elizabeth II’s plans for 95th celebrations - and when it is
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How will the Queen celebrate her birthday?
Each year, the Queen celebrates two birthdays - her real birthday on 21 April and her “official” birthday in June. Traditionally, the Queen marks her actual birthday rather privately, spending it with her family.
The Queen turned 95 on Wednesday 21 April, four days after Prince Philip’s funeral.
Previously, a statement from the royal family confirmed that for the second year in a row, the traditional Queen’s birthday parade would not be going ahead due to Covid-19 restrictions.
A statement from the royal family said: “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.”
The latest statement from the royal family outlined what the new celebrations would look like this year.
It said: “The Queen will view a military parade in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle to mark Her Majesty’s Official Birthday, on Saturday 12 June.
"The parade will be held by the Household Division, and the Queen’s Colour of F Company Scots Guard will be trooped. His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, Colonel, Scots Guards, will accompany the Queen.”
The statement goes on to explain that upon the Queen and Duke of Kent’s arrival in the Quadrangle, they will be greeted by a royal salute and the national anthem.
The parade will commence with the Musical Troop as the band plays. The Colour will then be trooped through the ranks, and the parade will conclude with a second royal salute.
"The King’s Troop Horse Artillery will then fire a 41 Gun Royal Salute, to mark Her Majesty’s Official Birthday, from the East Lawn at Windsor Castle,” the statement said.
What is Trooping the Colour?
Trooping the Colour features over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians as they come together each June in a display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare to mark the Queen’s official birthday.
Usually, the streets are lined with crowds waving flags as the parade makes its way from Buckingham Palace and down The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, alongside members of the royal family on horseback and in carriages.
The event closes with an RAF fly-past, which is viewed by the royal family from the Buckingham Palace balcony.
2021 will be the second year that the annual Trooping the Colour parade will not take place, after it was announced last year that it would be suspended due to the pandemic.
Additionally, last year the bells of Westminster Abbey, the church where she was married and crowned, also stayed silent on her birthday for the first time in more than a decade. There were also no birthday gun salutes after the Queen decided that the display would not be “appropriate” at the time.
Why does the Queen have two birthdays?
The Queen celebrates two birthdays each year - her real birthday is on 21 April, but her official birthday is usually celebrated the second Saturday in June.
The royal family website explains that official celebrations to mark the Sovereigns’ birthday have often been held on a day other than their actual birthday - especially when their actual birthday is not in the summer.
“King Edward VII, for example, was born on 9 November, but his official birthday was marked throughout his reign in May or June when there was a greater likelihood of good weather for the Birthday Parade,” the site says.
Usually the Queen spends her actual birthday privately and her official birthday is marked by the Trooping the Colour parade.