Trooping the Colour 2021: A 'memorable and uplifting day' for the Queen at Windsor Castle
The Queen will see a military parade in the Windsor Castle square - EDDIE MULHOLLAND FOR THE TELEGRAPH
The Queen beamed in the sunshine and patted her feet to the music as she celebrated her official birthday with a withdrawn military procession at Windsor Castle.
Her Majesty, 95, sat in the square of the castle to watch the annual pomp and ceremony of Trooping the Color, spearheaded by the Scots Guards this year.
It came just hours after she returned to Windsor from Cornwall, where she met the G7 leaders and posed for the traditional “family photo” which sparked a chuckle as she quipped, “Should you look like you have a good time?"
On Sunday she will receive US President Joe Biden and his wife First Lady Jill Biden in the castle. They will attend a military march before they sit down for tea.
The Queen, wearing an Angela Kelly-designed gray and lemon yellow outfit, was accompanied by her cousin, the Duke of Kent, Colonel of the Scottish Guard, as she accepted the greeting.
Her Majesty the Queen - Eddie Mulholland
It was perhaps a bittersweet moment, the first such ceremony since the death of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, in April. Finally, the military gathered for his funeral on the lawn of the castle.
Last year it was rumored that the Duke had watched the reduced birthday spectacle from a window in the castle, where both he and the Queen had isolated during the first lockdown.
As was the case last year, the broader royal family was expected to watch the ceremony from their homes on Saturday.
Traditionally they performed en masse on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after a military parade with hundreds of soldiers and soldiers through central London.
Before the Queen stepped into the June sunshine, soldiers and musicians of the Massed Band of the Household Division marched onto the parade ground.
Crowds gathered in Windsor Great Park to watch the spectacle as the various regiments marched down the Long Walk and through King George IV Gate.
Soldiers make their way to the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle - Chris Jackson
The ceremony enabled the guardsmen to show their precise marching skills while maintaining social distance.
The military officer responsible for planning the parade had stated that his goal was to make the monarch "a memorable and uplifting day".
Lt Col Guy Stone said, "Last year we had 85 in the parade, this year we have 274 plus 70 horses so we're very excited that the event has grown and hopefully returns to normal for next year.
The Queen's Color of F Company Scots Guards troop in the arena in Windsor - EDDIE MULHOLLAND
"It was very challenging, but we like challenges. Covid has a lot to answer for in many ways, it made this difficult, but what we want to do most of all is give the Queen an unforgettable and uplifting day."
The spectacle featured soldiers who supported communities and the NHS during the pandemic or who served in military operations abroad.
From her dais, the Queen looked delighted as she watched the line-up of guardsmen, mounted soldiers and the Royal Horse Artillery of the King's Troop.
The color or ceremonial flag that passed the soldiers was the color of the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards with the regiment's F company tasked with performing the honor.
They were supported by a massive Household Division band - musicians from all five Foot Guards Bands and the 1st Battalion Scots Guards Pipes and Drums.
A rare sight on the parade ground were two officers who were father and son. Col. Jeremy Bagshaw, Army Headquarters London District Chief of Staff, stood near the Queen's podium while his 18-year-old son, 2nd Lieutenant Henry Bagshaw, Coldstream Guards, stood before the monarch.
A small handful of seated guests lined part of the square - unlike last year when only the military was present.
The ceremony ended with 41 gun salutes and a flyby of the Red Arrows, which put a big smile on the Queen's face.
The monarch pointed to the sky as she watched the display before the Red Arrows headed for the G7 summit in Cornwall.
It was the second year in a row that her official birthday was celebrated at Windsor Castle instead of Horse Guards due to the pandemic.
It had previously been held at Windsor for Queen Victoria in 1865 when the Scots Guards were back in color.
The Queen has attended every year of her reign except in 1955 when it was canceled due to the rail strike.
She is expected to come to Royal Ascot on Tuesday and Saturday next week, when her horses are running on those days.
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