The royal tradition has happened for 260 years.

By Stacey Leasca
June 08, 2020

In a typical year, Queen Elizabeth rings in her birthday with a big, splashy military presentation known as Trooping the Colour. However, as you know, 2020 is anything but a typical year. But, in an effort to maintain both a bit of normalcy and a healthy dose of safety during the coronavirus pandemic, the royal family has decided to forgo a major celebration this year and opt for a brief military gathering instead.

The tradition of the Trooping of the Colour goes back hundreds of years. According to the official royal website, all British monarchs have celebrated their birthdays twice for more than 260 years, once on the day of their birth and once when the weather is nicer for the Trooping of the Colour.

“Over 1400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians come together each June in a great display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare to mark The Queen's official birthday,” the official royal site explains. It’s “a great display of military precision, horsemanship, and fanfare.”

This year, those numbers will likely be much, much smaller.

“There will be a small, brief military ceremony at Windsor Castle to mark The Queen’s official birthday," a Buckingham Palace spokesman shared with People.

The spokesperson didn’t share any further details on if the Queen will be joined by her family members, including her son Prince Charles or her grandchildren Prince William or Prince Harry.

However, according to the Daily Mail, the ceremony will only include a “small contingent of the Welsh Guards” who will salute the Queen at 11 a.m.

The Queen may not even be out on the balcony for the event and may choose to watch the entire ceremony from inside the house looking out a window instead, according to the Daily Mail.

As for the public, they too will likely be told to stay home and watch the event from their living rooms on TV. But maybe by 2021, we can all go back to saying “happy birthday” to the Queen in real life again.