Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the royal family couldn’t reunite to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday with the traditional Trooping the Colour Parade. However, the 94-year-old head of the British monarchy still had a smaller ceremony to commemorate her special day.
In her first official appearance since being in quarantine, Queen Elizabeth was all smiles in a turquoise ensemble as she watched the Welsh Guards, who are currently on Guard at Windsor Castle, perform a pared back ceremony. She also enjoyed music by a Band of the Household Division.
While her actual birthday is on April 21, the royal family also celebrate the second Saturday of June with the annual parade. This year for the first time since 1955, amid the pandemic, the event didn’t take place in its traditional form.
Typically the queen, along with senior members of the royal family, are driven in a carriage from Buckingham Palace, down Horse Guard’s Parade and back. They then watch a fly-past of aircrafts by the Royal Air Force from the palace balcony. The annual event brings together over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians.
It was just last year when the entire royal family gathered at the Buckingham Palace balcony to celebrate the queen’s 93rd birthday. It was also Meghan Markle’s first royal event since giving birth to her and Prince Harry’s first child together, baby Archie, the month before. The new mom glowed, wearing a navy Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy dress and overcoat.
In April, for Her Majesty’s birthday, ET learned that for the first time in her 68-year reign there would be no gun salutes in honor of her special day.
Related slideshow: Queen Elizabeth II over the years (Provided by Photo services)
The longest-reigning monarch and the oldest-serving head of state has been the queen of the U.K. since 1952. Let’s take a look at her illustrious royal life through a periscope of images.
The Duke and Duchess of York with their daughter Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) at her christening on May 1, 1926.
A photo of Princess Elizabeth on Jan 1, 1929.
Arrives at the 16th-century church at Balcombe, Sussex, for the wedding of Lady May Cambridge and Captain Henry Abel Smith on Oct. 24, 1931.
Two-year-old Princess Margaret (L) with her sister Princess Elizabeth on Jan. 1, 1933.
Princess Elizabeth is seen in the Duchess’ box at the “Dick Whittington” pantomime at the Lyceum Theatre in London, England, on Feb. 6, 1935.
Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) with her eldest daughter Princess Elizabeth on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, London, after the coronation of King George VI on May 5, 1937.
Princesses Elizabeth (C) and Margaret (R) launch a model seaplane at the Bekonscot Model Village in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, on April 1, 1939.
At Windsor Castle, Berkshire, on June 22, 1940.
Princess Elizabeth (R) and Princess Margaret in their Girl Guide uniforms practice their bandaging technique on Jan. 8, 1943.
Princess Elizabeth (L) and Princess Margaret are photographed as they sign their savings certificates on Jan. 9, 1943.
Princess Elizabeth visits the National Sea Scouts Exhibition at the London Scottish Headquarters in Buckingham Gate on April 18, 1944.
(L-R) King George VI, Princess Elizabeth and Queen Elizabeth during the princess’ 18th birthday at the Royal family’s country estate on April 21, 1944.
In a production of “Old Mother Red Riding Boots” on Dec. 23, 1944.
Princess Elizabeth looks through a 100-year-old “peepshow” during her visit to the National Book League in Albemarle Street, London, on May 9, 1946.
At her desk in her sitting room at Buckingham Palace on Sept. 19, 1946.
Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, wave to the crowds from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day on Nov. 20, 1947.
Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, with Prince Charles after his christening at Buckingham Palace on Dec. 15, 1948.
Princess Anne in the arms of Princess Elizabeth with the Duke of Edinburgh holding Prince Charles, on the grounds of Clarence House, their London residence, on Aug. 9, 1951.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip wave to supporters from the balcony at Buckingham Palace following her coronation at Westminster Abbey, London, on June 2, 1953.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill bows to Queen Elizabeth II as he welcomes her and the Duke of Edinburgh to 10 Downing Street for dinner on April 5, 1955.
The Queen strolls through Windsor Great Park with Prince Charles, Princess Anne and two of her corgies on their way to watch the Duke of Edinburgh play polo, on June 2, 1956.
The Queen in the Long Library at Sandringham shortly after making the traditional Christmas Day broadcast to the nation on Dec. 25, 1957.
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh with their two children, the Prince of Wales and Princess Anne, at Windsor Castle on May 28, 1959.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh with their guests, U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline, at Buckingham Palace on June 5, 1961.
Queen Elizabeth II attends a Sandown Park race meeting on March 23, 1962.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip with their baby son, Prince Edward, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Trooping the Colour ceremony on June 13, 1964.
Queen Elizabeth II, baby Prince Edward, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh in the gardens of Frogmore House, Windsor, as they celebrate the Queen’s 39th birthday on April 21, 1965.
England football team captain Bobby Moore holds the Jules Rimet Trophy, collected from the Queen, after leading his team to victory over West Germany in the soccer World Cup Final at Wembley, London, on July 30, 1966.
At the garden party on the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London on June 1, 1967.
The royal family on the grounds of Frogmore House, Windsor, on April 21, 1968.
Queen Elizabeth II formally invests her son Prince Charles with the coronet of the Prince of Wales during an investiture ceremony at Caernarfon Castle in Wales on July 1, 1969.
Queen Elizabeth II with Prime Minister Edward Heath (2nd R) and U.S. President Richard Nixon and his wife Pat at Chequers, Buckinghamshire, on Oct. 3, 1970.
In her study at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Sept. 1, 1972.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh – who is wearing the uniform of Admiral of the Fleet – celebrating their silver wedding anniversary in November 1972.
The Queen stands near an oak sapling that she planted in the garden of the government guesthouse in Tokyo, after it had been brought to Japan from Windsor Castle, on May 12, 1975.
With Prince Philip and their youngest son Prince Edward on her 50th birthday at Windsor Castle on April 21, 1976.
On a walkabout in Portsmouth during her Silver Jubilee tour of Great Britain on June 29, 1977.
Queen Elizabeth II with a Jersey cow presented to her, at the Country Show at Le Petit Catelet, Saint John, Jersey, on June 27, 1978.
Touring Nizwa with Qaboos bin Said al Said, Sultan of Oman, during a state visit to Oman on Feb. 28, 1979.
The Queen with the Duke of Edinburgh and their children Prince Edward (L), Prince Charles (2nd from L), Princess Anne (C), and Prince Andrew (R), at Balmoral Castle, on Sept. 1, 1979.
The Queen and Prince Charles during a royal polo match on Jan. 1, 1982.
The royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the Trooping the Colour ceremony on June 15, 1985.
Leaving the Royal Chapel in Windsor Great Park after attending morning prayers on April 20, 1986.
With the Duke of Edinburgh at the Badaling Pass on the Great Wall of China during their state visit to China on Oct. 14, 1986.
With U.S. President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy at Buckingham Palace on June 14, 1989.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in a state coach, a Bicentennial gift from Australia, on May 6, 1992.
The Queen surveys the scene following the fire at Windsor Castle on Nov. 21, 1992.
At the Bayeux War Cemetery in France on June 6, 1994.
With President Nelson Mandela of South Africa in a carriage ride along the Mall to Buckingham Palace on July 9, 1996.
During her tour of Pakistan on Jan. 1, 1997.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh view the floral tributes to Diana, Princess of Wales, at Buckingham Palace on Aug. 17, 1997.
With Chinese President Jiang Zemin (R) at the Chinese Embassy in London on Oct. 21, 1999.
Riding a small pony as she recovers from a leg operation in Windsor on April 14, 2003.
Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, attend the 2006 Braemar Gathering in Scotland.
On Nov. 18, 2007, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip revisited Broadlands in Hampshire, where they spent their honeymoon 60 years ago.
The Queen waves as she arrives for the final day of the Cheltenham Festival horse racing meeting in Gloucestershire on March 13, 2009.
Prince Charles kisses the hand of his mother after she presented him with a Royal Horticultural Society Victoria Medal of Honour, during a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show in London on May 18, 2009.
With Pope Benedict XVI during an audience in the Morning Drawing Room at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, during a visit by the Pope to the U.K. on Sept. 16, 2010.
With U.S. President Barack Obama in Buckingham Palace, ahead of a state banquet on May 24, 2011.
The Queen views the interior of the refurbished East Wing of Somerset House at King’s College in London on Feb. 29, 2012.
Attends a service for the Order of the British Empire at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on March 7, 2012.
The Queen smiles after the Derby horse race at the Epsom Derby festival on June 2, 2012.
Prince Charles, the Queen and Prince William (R) stand on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations on June 5, 2012.
The Queen enjoys a light moment after bidding farewell to the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina at Windsor Castle on April 11, 2014.
Pats former Grand National race favorite Teaforthree during her visit to Cotts Equine Hospital in Narberth, Wales, on April 29, 2014.
A local youth takes a selfie in front of Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to St. George’s indoor market in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on June 24, 2014.
With construction workers as she attends the official opening of the refurbished Reading Station, in London, on July 17, 2014.
Angelina Jolie being presented with the Insignia of an Honorary Dame Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George by Queen Elizabeth II in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace on Oct. 10, 2014.
In a field of ceramic poppies that form part of the art installation “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red,” at the Tower of London on Oct. 16, 2014.
The Queen and Prince Philip leave St. Paul’s Cathedral after the Afghanistan service of commemoration, in London, on March 13, 2015.
Crosses her fingers as she watches her horse, Ring of Truth, run in the Al Basti Equiworld EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes at Newbury Racecourse on April 17, 2015.
Prince William (C) holds his son Prince George, with Queen Elizabeth II, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (3rd from R), the Prince of Wales (L) and Prince Harry (R) during the Trooping the Colour parade at Buckingham Palace on June 13, 2015.
With Prince Philip on the balcony of Römer townhall in Frankfurt, Germany, on June 25, 2015.
The Queen proceeds through the Royal Gallery before the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster on May 27, 2015.
Arrives at Tweedbank station on Sept. 9, 2015.
The Queen lays a wreath during the annual Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph, Whitehall, in London, on Nov. 8, 2015.
Departing Kings Lynn by train on Feb. 8, 2016.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh feed Donna the elephant during the opening of new Centre for Elephant Care at Whipsnade Zoo in Dunstable on April 11, 2017.
Queen Elizabeth II sits next to Anna Wintour (R) and Caroline Rush (L), chief executive of the British Fashion Council, as they view Richard Quinn’s runway show before presenting him with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design during the London Fashion Week on Feb. 20, 2018.
With King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa (L) of Bahrain at the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Home Park in Windsor on May 11, 2018.
With Prince Philip during the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19.
The Queen looks at a display of roses at the Chelsea Flower Show in London on May 21, 2018.
At the wedding of her granddaughter Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank, in Windsor on Oct. 12, 2018.
With King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of Netherlands, in London on Oct. 24, 2018.
With daughter-in-law Camilla (L) and granddaughter-in-law Catherine, during the National Service of Remembrance in London on Nov. 11, 2018.
This undated handout photo, made available by the British Royal Collection on Nov. 29, 2018, shows a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by painter Nicky Philipps. It depicts the Queen wearing grand ceremonial robes and an Order of the Thistle collar. The painting was placed in the Royal Dining Room at Holyrood House in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Queen is accompanied by (L-R) artist Stuart Brown, Air Commodore Scott Miller and Deputy Commandant of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, Warrant Officer Shaun Griffin, as she views a new portrait of hers at Windsor Castle, on Nov. 30, 2018. The portrait was commissioned by the RAF Regiment to celebrate its 75th anniversary.
Poses for a photograph after recording the annual Christmas Day message, in Buckingham Palace, on Dec. 24, 2018.
Artist Harry Parker explains his drawings to the Queen, who is a patron of the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department, during a service to celebrate the centenary of the granting of the prefix “Royal” to the department by King George V, at The Guards’ Chapel, Wellington Barracks, London, on Feb. 22, 2019.
Greets Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May as she arrives to attend a reception to mark the 50th anniversary of the investiture of The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace, on March 5, 2019.
Looks at the photographs of the royal family’s previous visits to the Science Museum in London on March 7, 2019.
Greets the Dean with Prince Andrew, Duke of York, during the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey, on March 11, 2019.
Unveils a plaque on the 500th anniversary of King’s Bruton school and opens their new music center in Bruton, England, on March 28, 2019.
Hosts a reception to mark the 100th anniversary of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) at Windsor Castle on April 2, 2019.
Pictured with her winning horse at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on May 8, 2019.
With U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at Buckingham Palace on June 3, 2019.
With Prince Charles at the Order of the Garter Service at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on June 17, 2019.
With Boris Johnson in Buckingham Palace, where she officially recognized him as the new British Prime Minister on July 24, 2019.
Inspects the Balaklava Company, 5th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, in Balmoral on Aug. 6, 2019.
Visits the Haig Housing Trust to officially open their new housing development in Morden, London, on Oct. 11, 2019.
During the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster, in London on Oct. 14, 2019.
Hosts a reception to mark the work of the Queen’s Trust at Buckingham Palace on Oct. 17, 2019.
Attends a reception to celebrate the work of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust at Buckingham Palace on Oct. 29, 2019.
With (L-R) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester, Sir Tim Lawrence, Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Nov. 9, 2019.
Presents the Chatham House Prize to Sir David Attenborough and Julian Hector, Head of the BBC Natural History Unit (not in picture), at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, in London, on Nov. 20, 2019.
With leaders of NATO alliance countries, its Secretary General (5th L, front row) and the Prince of Wales (4th L, front row) to mark 70 years of the alliance, at Buckingham Palace on Dec. 3, 2019.
With Prince Charles as she delivers the Queen’s Speech on The Sovereign’s Throne in the House of Lords chamber, during the State Opening of Parliament, in London, on Dec. 19, 2019.
In this undated photo, the Queen records her annual Christmas broadcast in Windsor Castle.
Unveils a plaque while opening the new premises of the Royal National ENT and Eastman Dental Hospitals, in London, on Feb. 19, 2020.
Speaks during a visit to the headquarters of MI5, U.K.’s domestic counter-intelligence and security agency, at Thames House in London, on Feb. 25, 2020.
The Queen is introduced to performers by the Very Reverend Dr. David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster, as she leaves after attending the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey, on March 9, 2020.
Receives Professor Mark Compton, Lord Prior of the Order of St. John, during an audience, where he presented Her Majesty with the Order’s first ever Service Medal in Gold, at Buckingham Palace on March 11, 2020.
Speaks to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson from Windsor Castle, during her weekly audience, to discuss the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, on March 25, 2020.
During her address to the nation and the Commonwealth in relation to the coronavirus pandemic, at Windsor Castle on April 5, 2020.
The queen wanted to make sure that no special measures were put in place to continue the gun salute tradition as she did not feel it was appropriate in the current circumstances amid the pandemic.
The queen is currently quarantined at Windsor Castle with her 99-year-old husband, Prince Philip, while the rest of the royal family remains isolated at their various residences. For her birthday, ET learned the queen’s grandson Harry, Meghan and their 11-month-old son, Archie, video chatted the reigning British monarch to wish her a happy birthday.
Earlier this week, the queen and Prince Philip posed for a new portrait to celebrate his birthday.