Queen's mini Trooping the Colour revealed as official birthday marked in lockdown

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent
There will be no Buckingham Palace balcony moments this year. (Getty Images)

The Queen’s official birthday will be marked in Windsor Castle for what could be the first time since 1895 as the monarch remains in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.

Trooping the Colour has marked the monarch’s official birthday since the reign of George II and usually entails a grand spectacle on the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.

It also includes a flypast by the RAF, watched from the balcony of the palace by the whole Royal Family.

But with the Queen remaining in Windsor Castle for the foreseeable future, the plans have had to be adapted.

The Queen will view a small military ceremony in the quadrangle of the castle on 13 June, the same day the event would have been held in London.

A palace spokesman said: “The ceremony will be executed by soldiers from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, who are currently on Guard at Windsor Castle, and feature music performed by a Band of the Household Division.

“Upon Her Majesty’s arrival in the Quadrangle, The Queen will be greeted by a Royal Salute. A series of military drills will then be carried out as the Band plays, and the ceremony will conclude with a second Salute before The Queen’s departure.”

The use of the guards who are already at Windsor Castle will help the royals maintain social distancing and stop any unnecessary travel.

The parade will be held in the quadrangle in Windsor Castle, where the duke's birthday portrait was taken. (PA Images)

Read more: How the Queen became a symbol of stability in the chaos of coronavirus

A colour will still be paraded as part of the military drills.

The ceremony will take place entirely in the confines of the castle, and there won’t be any viewing spots for the public.

It’s therefore highly unlikely that there will be any other members of the Royal Family present.

The Queen’s official birthday is marked on the second Saturday in June. Trooping the Colour was co-opted as the official birthday of the monarch in the 1700s, when George II became fed up with his November birthday always having bad weather.

It was held in Windsor Castle in 1895 and had to be cancelled in 1955 due to the National Rail strike.

Read more: Why does the Queen have two birthdays?

The smaller ceremony may help spare Prince Andrew of his notable absence, after stepping back from public duties last year.

However it will also mean no appearance by Prince Harry and Meghan, who were understood to want to fly over for the annual parade.

The Queen and Prince Philip have been in lockdown together at Windsor Castle since mid March, and have celebrated both her 94th birthday and his 99th.

The couple is spending more time together now than they have done for some time, as Philip moved to the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk when he retired in 2017.

The official birthday events will be broadcast on BBC One on Saturday morning.