Watch Trooping the Colour, the Queen's official birthday celebrations

By Zach Harper

Happy Birthday, Your Majesty!

Every year, the Queen celebrates her birthday twice: once on April 21, which is her actual birthday, and once in June, when she has an official celebration known as Trooping the Colour.

It was started in 1748 by King George II, who had been born in November. To avoid staging a big parade in cold, dreary weather and to prevent royals and those taking part in the festivities from getting sick with colds and other illnesses, George II opted to move his official celebrations to the warmer months. Since then, British monarchs have held their big birthday festivities mainly in June.

As was the case last year, Trooping the Colour was significantly scaled down for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. But you might notice quite a few more soldiers and horses this year than in 2020, and if so... you're right!

Last year, only 85 soldiers took part in the festivities, which were held at Windsor Castle. On June 12 of this year, more than 200 soldiers were involved and dozens of horses also took part. More people being involved shows some strides have been made in battling COVID-19, but there's still more work to be done!

The Queen was joined by her cousin, the Duke of Kent, at this year's celebration. It's not the first time he's been involved in the Trooping the Colour ceremony – he stepped in for the Queen's late husband Prince Philip in 2013 after the Duke of Edinburgh had surgery and was unable to attend.

Due to the time difference, you may have missed this year's festivities – and you can watch them all below, thanks to the BBC!

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