Queen Elizabeth's Special Birthday Parade Canceled for Second Year in a Row amid COVID-19

Queen Elizabeth's traditional parade, Trooping the Colour, has been canceled for the second year in a row due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Plans are being explored for a scaled-down celebration likely to take place in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle, like last year, Buckingham Palace announced on Friday.

In a statement, the palace said, "Following consultation with Government and other relevant parties it has been agreed that The Queen's Official Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, will not go ahead this year in its traditional form in central London. Options for an alternative Parade, in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle, are being considered."

The statement added that the annual Garter service that usually takes place at St. George's Chapel on the Monday after Trooping the Colour, will also not be taking place.

Although vaccinations are continuing successfully and rates of COVID-19 illnesses are falling steadily in the U.K., restrictions around large public gatherings are not likely to be eased for months. Trooping the Colour usually brings thousands of people onto the streets of central London to view the procession of horseback-riding royals and carriages.

The festive morning ends with a traditional fly-past over Buckingham Palace, with the extended royal family gathered on the balcony.

Last year, the army staged a smaller-scale parade and celebration at Windsor Castle, with just the Queen in attendance. It remains to be seen if she will be able to be joined by any of her family for a commemoration this June.

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Although the Queen's 95th birthday is on April 21, Trooping the Colour always takes place in the early summer of the second weekend in June. This year it was set for June 12.

It comes at a special time for the family, as the Queen's husband, Prince Philip — who was released from a month-long hospital stay on Tuesday — turns 100 two days earlier on June 10.

In December, the most senior working royals, including Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate Middleton and Princess Anne, joined the Queen for an intimate carols service in the quadrangle — something that raises hopes that some of her family will be able to be alongside Queen Elizabeth at any planned birthday celebration in June.

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