Fresh from charming leaders in the Group of Seven summit, Queen Elizabeth II was back in her home at Windsor Castle on Saturday to see a military parade to mark her birthday.
The 95-year-old monarch sat on a dais to watch the service that despite ongoing social distancing restrictions did not emphasise on the pomp and pageantry front. If she had been tired after fulfilling G-7 leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, on Friday evening, it didn’t show.
The service is a gift from the Household Division of army regiments, which includes a close affinity with the monarch. It featured soldiers that have played an integral part in the COVID-19 response, as well as individuals who have been working on military operations. She had been spotted beaming from ear to ear because the nine planes of the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows flew past in creation and let loose their red, blue and white smoke.
The traditional Trooping the Color service is normally staged in London and features countless servicemen and women and thousands of spectators. However, for the second year running, that wasn’t possible and it was a slimmed-down affair at the grounds of Windsor Castle, that is approximately 27 miles (44 km ) west of the capital.
Dubbed a mini Trooping the Color, it featured soldiers in ceremonial scarlet coats and bearskin hats. The servicemen and women on parade numbered almost 275, with 70 horses, compared with the 85 soldiers who participate in the ceremony last summer. A small number of seated guests wrapped portion of this quadrangle — a change from last year when only the army were present.
The ceremony originated from traditional preparations for battle. The colors — or flags — were”trooped,” or carried down the lines of troops, therefore they are seen and comprehended in battle.
Lieutenant Colonel Guy Stone, who proposed the queen’s official birthday parties in Windsor Castle’s quadrangle, said he wished to make a”memorable and uplifting afternoon” for the monarch.
The ceremony took place a couple of months after the passing of her 99-year-old husband Prince Philip, whose funeral also took place at Windsor Castle.
Though she has been mourning the loss of her husband of 73 years, the queen has continue performing her duties, such as delivering a government-scripted address to mark the new session of parliament.
On Friday, she was the star turn at a reception with all the G-7 leaders and their spouses at the Eden Project, a futuristic botanical garden placed indoors domes which includes the world’s largest indoor rainforest.
She drew laughter out of her guests as she chided them during a group photo session:”Are you supposed to be looking as if you’re enjoying yourself?”