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The Trooping of the Colour, a ceremony marking the official birthday of the Queen of Britain, is minutes away.
The ceremony is one event of many to occur throughout the week as Britain celebrates 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. It follows Silver, Gold and Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1977, 2002 and 2012, which marked 25, 50 and 60 years on the throne. Jubilees are usually marked with a combination of ceremonial military displays, a church service and street parties.
The events began on June 2 and will continue through June 5.
Queen Elizabeth II watches a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour, the Queen’s annual birthday parade, on June 8, 2019 in London, England. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
WHAT IS TROOPING OF THE COLOUR?
The ceremony begins with a parade from Buckingham Palace down The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade.
Members of the royal family ride alongside the parade in carriages. Queen Elizabeth II has ridden on horseback for the parade in years past, but she won’t be taking part of the main parade this year, per People magazine.
The royal family members are joined by 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians, according to the palace. Typically, Queen Elizabeth II conducts an inspection of the military and then returns to the Buckingham Palace balcony. This year, however, Prince Charles will conduct the inspection. He will be joined by Prince William and Princess Anne.
The event is concluded with a flypast by the Royal Air Force which the royal family including the Queen watch from the Buckingham Palace balcony. A 41-gun salute is also fired in honor of Queen Elizabeth II.
Prince Louis, Prince George, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge appear on the balcony during Trooping the Colour. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
With Queen Elizabeth II not taking part of the main parade, Prince Charles is set to play a key role during the first event of the jubilee weekend, taking the salute of passing soldiers on the ground during the annual military review known as Trooping the Colour. The Queen will also take a salute from the balcony of the returning Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.
The Queen will later appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the flypast. Prince William, Kate Middleton and their three children will also appear on the balcony during the event along with Prince Charles and other members of the royal family.
Notably absent will be Prince Andrew plus Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The trio have made appearances on the balcony at past Trooping of the Colour ceremonies, but won’t this year due to fact that they are not working members of the royal family.
“After careful consideration, the Queen has decided that this year’s traditional Trooping the Colour balcony appearance on Thursday 2nd of June will be limited to Her Majesty and those members of the Royal Family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of the Queen,” a Buckingham Palace spokesman said in a statement.
Prince Andrew stepped down from his public duties in 2019 after he was publicly connected to Jeffrey Epstein. Meanwhile, Prince Harry and Markle announced they were stepping back from their royal duties in 2020.
Queen Elizabeth II leaves Buckingham Palace in a carriage during Trooping the Colour. (Photo by James Devaney)
PUT ON PAUSE
The Trooping of the Colour ceremony hasn’t taken place in its full capacity since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year, the ceremony was small with a palace insider telling Fox News Digital safety was a priority.
“Having received advice from Government, Public Health England and other relevant bodies, it was clear that holding such a large scale event in central London, with the associated crowds, travel and additional infrastructure required to make it compliant with COVID-19 guidance, would not be possible this year,” the insider said ahead of the festivities at the time.
The only time the Trooping of the Colour has been canceled during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign was in 1955 due to a national rail strike.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.