Queen Elizabeth won’t take the royal salute at Trooping the Colour for the first time this year.
The 96-year-old royal – who has been suffering from mobility issues in recent months – historically marks her official birthday on 2 June by greeting her personal troops, the Household Division on Horse Guards Parade, but for next month’s ceremony, plans have been drawn up for Princes Charles and William and Princess Anne to ride on the parade in their capacity as colonels of the Welsh Guards, the Irish Guards and the Blues and Royals respectively.
Traditionally during the ceremony following the Horse Guards Parade, the queen is greeted by a royal salute before carrying out an inspection of the troops and though her children and grandson are ready to step in and take part on her behalf, the Sunday Times newspaper reports she still hopes to attend some of the ceremony.
One plan under consideration would see the queen travel in a carriage from Buckingham Palace to briefly inspect the troops, before withdrawing for the rest of the ceremony and later reappearing for the traditional balcony moment with her family, while Charles, William and Anne would represent her at the parade ground.
Another option is for the monarch not to inspect the troops at all, but to just appear on the balcony at the end of the ceremony.
This year, the 86-year-old Duke of Kent – who is colonel of the Scots Guards – will not ride on the parade.
In her role as head of the armed forces, the queen has taken the royal salute every year of her reign apart from in 1955, when the ceremony was cancelled due to a rail strike.
Meanwhile, the queen is not planning to appoint a new royal colonel of the Grenadier Guards before the ceremony in order to spare Prince Andrew – who handed back the role, along with his other military titles in January because of his sexual assault case in the US – any embarrassment.
Andrew had taken over the role in 2017 after the late Duke of Edinburgh had previously held the post for 42 years.
Instead, Major General Roland Walker – a former commanding officer – will represent the Grenadier Guards.