The Queen’s official birthday celebrations were very different this year, and we didn’t see the Royal Family come together to celebrate on the Buckingham Palace balcony.
However the day didn’t pass unmarked, and there was a scaled-back military parade at Windsor Castle to mark the Monarch’s special day.
Social distancing rules meant Prince Charles, Camilla, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and other members of the family couldn’t attend – but eagle-eyed viewers did notice a few guests who did manage to watch.
The Queen, who was dressed in a floral silk jade grey and dusty pink dress by Stewart Parvin and hat by Rachel Trevor-Morgan, with the diamond leek brooch of the Welsh Guard, sat alone on a seat on a dais, a raised platform decorated with pink begonias and bay trees to watch.
And royal blog Gert’s Royals spotted some other people enjoying the view, leaning out the palace windows to watch.
It’s unknown who the lucky spectators are, but they’re believed to be castle staff.
Even though they couldn’t be there in person, the rest of the royal family didn’t miss out and reportedly tuned in to watch the coverage on the BBC.
The event was the Queen’s first live public engagement since Britain was placed into lockdown because of coronavirus.
The parade included 20 socially distanced soldiers from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards – including the first ever female guardsman to parade for the Queen’s birthday.
Her Majesty looked on with pride at the assembled military outfit, accompanied by Vice-Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt, Master of the Household, Lt Col Michael Vernon, Comptroller and Major Nana Twemasi-Ankrah, the Queen’s equerry.
The Queen, 94, was greeted by a royal salute before watching military drills by the guardsmen who are used to standing shoulder-to-shoulder, but had specially adapted their manoeuvres to keep 2.2 metres apart, under the watchful eye of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher, who commanded the ceremony.
The 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, who are currently on guard at Windsor Castle and have played a key role in the Covid-19 response, were due to have their Colour “trooped” at this year’s official birthday parade.
The tradition ceremony, which is held in early June every year, takes place at Horse Guards Parade in London and involves more than 1400 soldiers and 200 horses.
Soldiers were chosen to take part who were either living in the Windsor area, on duty at the Castle or based in the nearby barracks, limiting the amount of travel required.