Queen views a scaled back ceremony for her official birthday

The Queen has appeared in Windsor today for a pared back ceremony to mark her official birthday.

In normal times, the second Saturday of June is reserved for the annual Trooping the Colour parade involving most members of the Royal Family and hundreds of military personnel parading along The Mall to Buckingham Palace.

But coronavirus has forced the entire plan to be scrapped, relocated to Windsor and hugely scaled back.

The Welsh Guards turned out in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle to pay tribute to the Queen, who is their Colonel-in-Chief.

The Queen viewed the military ceremony from behind the walls of Windsor Castle, with none of it on public view.

She arrived in the Quadrangle in the castle grounds, where she was greeted by a Royal Salute.

There was a series of military drills and the short ceremony was concluded with a second Salute before the Queen’s departure.

Queen Elizabeth II during a ceremony at Windsor Castle in Berkshire to mark her official birthday. Credit: PA

There was no marching through the streets by the 1st Battalion of the Welsh Gaurds and the public were asked to stay away from Windsor entirely.

The Palace is anxious that the Queen doesn’t become a draw for crowds.

The parade was also conducted whilst adhering to the strict two metre government guidelines on social distancing.

The Welsh Guards – one of the Army’s Foot Guards’ regiments - are currently on Guard at Windsor Castle and there was music by a Band of the Household Division.

Trooping the Colour is normally a national celebration and the Royal Family turn out on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fly past by the RAF.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh pictured 1/6/2020 in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle ahead of his 99th birthday on Wednesday. Credit: PA

Ordinarily, more than 1,400 soldiers, 400 musicians and 200 horses would make their way down the Mall from Buckingham Palace.

Although the Queen’s actual birthday is in April, the tradition of holding a national parade in June dates back to the time of King George II.

His birthday was in November, and he decided to move the military parade to the summer in the hope that the weather would normally be much kinder.

But even he wouldn’t have been able to predict that a future British Monarch would be forced to cancel the annual event because of a pandemic.