Lady Diana Spencer riding in a carriage with Prince Andrew at the Trooping the Colour in 1981 (Image: Getty Images)

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Princess Diana's first Trooping the Colour to celebrate the Queen's birthday was rather dramatic due to an incident on the day.

The popular ceremony is held every year to celebrate the monarch's official birthday on the second weekend of June, but this year and last year the event has been scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The event typically sees members of the Royal Family gather on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch an RAF fly-past after a parade that moves from the Palace and down The Mall to Horse Guard's Parade.

The ceremony usually runs smoothly, but when Diana, Princess of Wales, made her debut at the event in 1981, an incident happened and things took a horrible turn.

Diana joined other members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
(Image: Getty Images)

Diana, then aged just 19, rode with Prince Andrew in a carriage while her husband-to-be, Prince Charles, rode on horseback.

She wore a custom Bill Pashley blue floral suit that she had requested to attend the ceremony.

The event took place one month before Lady Diana Spencer – as she was then known – married Prince Charles at St Paul's Cathedral.

Princess Diana and Prince Andrew leaving Buckingham Palace for her Diana's first Trooping the Colour
(Image: Getty Images)

This broke royal protocol as its policy is "no ring, no bring", but royals soon understood this would be the last of their problems during the day.

During the ceremony, as Queen Elizabeth II was riding on horseback along The Mall, 17-year-old Marcus Simon Sarjeant fired at least six pistol blanks at the monarch.

The shots were fired as the Queen approached the junction of the Mall and Horse Guards Parade and made her horse scared.

Diana's first Trooping the Colour was rather dramatic
(Image: Getty Images)

But despite the dangerous incident, the monarch, then 55, remained calm and continued riding the horse.

The procession went as planned and afterwards, the Queen returned to Buckingham Palace by the same route, under the close watch of security services.

The teen was arrested and allegedly told his captors: "I wanted to be famous. I wanted to be a somebody."

The Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour in 2018
(Image: PA)

He was later charged under the Treason Act of 1842 and sentenced to five years in prison.

Despite the dramatic incident, the event progressed normally and Diana joined other members of the Royal Family to watch the fly-past from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

But because Charles and Diana's wedding was just one month away, security at St Paul's Cathedral became worried that something might happen at the ceremony.

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Thankfully, though, there were no security issues on the day.

This year the event will not go ahead in its traditional form due to the coronavirus pandemic, Buckingham Palace confirmed in March.

The Palace said in a statement: "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.

"Options for an alternative Parade, in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle, are being considered."