Why Kate Middleton, William And Other Royals Skipped Trooping The Colour

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royal family
The Duchess of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (L-R) arrive for the annual evening reception for members of the Diplomatic Corps at Buckingham Palace in London, Britain December 8, 2016. Picture taken December 8, 2016. Reuters/Dominic Lipinski/Pool

Senior members of the British royal family were absent from this year's Trooping the Colour.

The entire extended royal family usually reunites and gathers on the balcony of Buckingham Palace each year on Trooping the Colour, the annual public celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's birthday. However, for the second year in a row, Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles and more royals skipped the event.

This year, the festivities were held at Windsor Castle Saturday, and only two royals were present, Queen Elizabeth II and her cousin, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, People reported.

Buckingham Palace announced back in March that Trooping the Colour would be scaled down again due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"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," stated the palace, also confirming that the annual Garter service, which usually takes place in June, "will not take place this year."

Currently, outdoor gatherings in the U.K. are limited to 30 people, while indoor gatherings are limited to six people or two households.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, last appeared for the Trooping the Colour in 2019. It was also Prince Louis' first-ever appearance on the Buckingham balcony.

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as well as Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and their families, also could not attend the event due to the gathering restrictions.

Last year, the army staged a smaller-scale parade and celebration in Windsor Castle with just the Queen in attendance. The monarch canceled the traditional royal gun salute last year, royal correspondent Roya Nikkhah reported.

"The Queen’s decision that her traditional birthday gun salutes fall silent this year for the first time in her reign due to the #coronavirus crisis, and that government buildings do not need to fly flags for her 94th birthday on Tuesday, makes our front page," she wrote on Twitter.

"Her Majesty was keen that no special measures were put in place to allow gun salutes as she did not feel it appropriate in the current circumstances," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

Her Majesty celebrated her 95th birthday on April 21, but the Trooping the Colour takes place in the early summer on the second weekend of June. The outlet noted that the royals host it during this time for a practical reason — the weather is nicer.

Trooping the Colour is believed to have started in 1748 during King George II's reign. The king combined an annual summer military march with his birthday celebration, even though he was born in October. Trooping the Colour has since become an annual event to celebrate the monarch and armed forces.

Royal Family
The Royal family look out from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Trooping the Colour parade on June 17, 2017 in London, England.
Photo: Getty Images/Chris Jackson

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