LONDON: Britain's Queen Elizabeth viewed a scaled-down military ceremony at Windsor Castle to mark her official birthday on Saturday, her first since the death of her husband Prince Philip two months ago.
The 95-year-old monarch was accompanied by her cousin Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, for a socially-distanced version of the 'Trooping the Colour', a ceremony which has been staged for more than 260 years.
Philip, Elizabeth's husband for more than 70 years, died in April.
The event comes a day after the queen hosted leaders of the Group of Seven rich nations for a reception in Cornwall, southwest England, where they are holding a three-day summit.
On Sunday, the queen will also meet U.S. President Joe Biden and his wife Jill for tea at Windsor before he heads off for further meetings in Europe.
Normally, 'Trooping the Colour' involves soldiers in their scarlet uniforms and tall bearskin hats parading through central London, but for the last two years it has had to be scaled back because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, soldiers from the Household Division and The Queen’s Colour of F Company Scots Guards took part in the ceremony in the grounds of Windsor Castle, the queen's home to the west of London where she has spent most of her time since the pandemic outbreak.
It was followed by a 41-gun salute fired by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and a flypast by the RAF Red Arrows aerobatic display team.
The queen's actual birthday is April 21, but her birthday is officially marked in June.
(Reporting by Michael Holden. Editing by Andrew MacAskill)