Queen’s cousin the Duke of Kent will step in as her ‘plus one’ and take Philip’s place at the Trooping The Colour parade so she won’t be so alone
- The Duke of Kent will take Prince Philip’s place at Trooping the Colour on June 12
- The Queen was alone last year at a scaled-back parade held in Windsor Castle
- The Duke was with her at the 2013 event as Philip was recovering from surgery
The Queen will have a ‘plus one’ for her official birthday parade in Windsor next month as the Royal Family continues to rally round the bereaved Monarch, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Her Majesty cut a solitary figure last year at a scaled-back parade – also known as Trooping the Colour – in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle. The pandemic meant it was switched from its usual venue at Horse Guards Parade in London.
She also touched the hearts of the nation when coronavirus rules meant she had to sit alone at the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip, in April.
However, for this year’s Trooping the Colour on June 12, the Queen will be accompanied by her cousin, the Duke of Kent. He was with her at the 2013 ceremony when Prince Philip was recovering from surgery.
The Queen will be accompanied by her cousin, the Duke of Kent, at this year’s Trooping the Colour in June
Palace sources say that after the limitations imposed by the pandemic and a period of mourning for the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen will be increasing her personal engagements.
As well as Trooping the Colour, which will feature more military personnel than last year, she will meet US President Joe Biden when he arrives next month for the G7 summit of leading industrial nations.
While plans are still to be finalised, it is believed the Queen, 95, will travel to Cornwall – where the summit is being held – so she can also meet the presidents and prime ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.
As part of a strategy to impress the world leaders, it is expected that the Monarch will be joined by Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Charles, an avid environmentalist, has told aides he is keen to meet Mr Biden, who in February reversed the decision by his predecessor Donald Trump to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty to tackle climate change.
The Duke of Edinburgh, pictured at Trooping the Colour in 2012, died in April this year
Having senior Royals travel to Cornwall for the summit, held at Carbis Bay between June 11 and 13, would avoid the challenges of arranging a state visit for Mr Biden in London under any Covid-19 restrictions.
It is thought the President will be invited for a full state visit at a later date. He will be the 14th US leader to meet the Queen. Since 1951, she has met every occupant of the White House apart from Lyndon B. Johnson.
As is customary, the Queen sent a private letter to Mr Biden before his inauguration in January. A Royal source said the Queen had ‘genuine enthusiasm’ for more live engagements. She was pictured smiling last weekend during a visit to the new Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth.
‘There is a strong desire to return to normal duties and for the country to return to normal too,’ said the source.