A six-minute flypast featuring more than 70 aircraft including the Red Arrows will take place over Buckingham Palace following the Queen’s birthday parade during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The traditional event, with dozens of aircraft from the Royal Navy, the Army and Royal Air Force, will take to the sky on the first day of the royal celebrations on 2 June, according to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Earlier this month, the Palace announced that the Trooping The Colour balcony appearance would be limited to working members of her family.
The Sussexes stepped away from royal duties in 2020, and the Duke of York was stripped of his royal patronages and military titles due to the sex abuse allegations against him.
The balcony moment is normally a big family occasion and forms the centrepiece of Trooping the Colour – a display of military pageantry involving 1,500 officers and soldiers and 250 horses from the Army’s Household Division on Horse Guards Parade to mark the Queen’s official birthday.
Although they will not be on the balcony, Harry, Meghan and their children will attend the celebrations. It will be the first time the Queen meets her great-granddaughter Lilibet, who is named after her.
The Queen will be joined on the balcony by the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Earl and Countess of Wessex, Princess Royal, Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra, and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.
Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis and the Wessexes’ children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, will also be part of the group.
The flypast will take six minutes and is expected to include more than three times the number of aircraft which took part in the Queen’s last birthday parade flypast in central London in 2019.
The display will include helicopters from the Royal Navy and the Army and RAF aircraft recently seen responding to events in Kabul and Ukraine and the coronavirus pandemic.
The flypast will also include highlights from the history of the RAF, including aircraft from the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF).
The BBMF operates six Spitfires, two Hurricanes, a Lancaster, a C47 Dakota and two Chipmunk aircraft, all of which have been flown at previous state occasions including Trooping the Colour to commemorate those who have fallen in service.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “I’m proud that the Armed Forces are leading the nation in celebration with such a spectacular display.
“Throughout the Platinum Jubilee celebrations we will all enjoy the expertise, skill and talent of our Armed Forces as we celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne.”
Other events planned over the four-day celebration include a pop concert outside the palace featuring Ed Sheeran and a £15m carnival featuring a puppet dragon as wide as the Mall.
Queen Elizabeth is the first British monarch to reign for 70 years.
Back in 1953, the Queen’s coronation flypast featured more than 600 aircraft, part of which was filmed in the first ever televising of the event.