Just because royal events are being canceled due to the current coronavirus pandemic, doesn’t mean Queen Elizabeth can’t celebrate in her own way.
Today, June 30, marks what would have been the Ceremony of the Keys, which takes place on the forecourt of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. Unfortunately, social distancing and a ban on public gatherings made the event impossible this year. Instead, the royal family honored the day by sharing throwback photos of Her Majesty from past years’ events on Instagram.
If you didn’t know (don’t worry, we didn’t either), the Ceremony of Keys is where Elizabeth is welcomed and given the keys to the city by the Lord Provost. It marks the start of Holyrood Week, during which the monarch (and members of the royal fam) “attend engagements throughout Scotland, hold an Investiture [whatever that is] and host thousands of special guests at a garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse,” according to Buckingham Palace.
The slideshow of photos features Queen Elizabeth attending the ceremony over a handful of years. In one snap we even see the 94-year-old being presented with Edinburgh’s keys and smiling.
Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the only event affected by the current pandemic. Her Majesty’s Trooping the Colour—a parade celebrated every year for her birthday—was also canceled earlier this month and replaced with a “mini” event in which no members of the public could attend.
Looks like we’ll just have to wait until next year for that extravagant Palace of Holyroodhouse garden party.