No birthday celebrations for Queen Elizabeth as Covid-19 wracks UK
Issued on: 18/04/2020 – 15:55Modified: 18/04/2020 – 15:57
In an unprecedented step, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will not celebrate her 94th birthday in any special way and has asked that there be none of Britain's traditional gun salutes to mark the occasion because it would not be appropriate while the country battles a deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Britain is at or near the peak of an outbreak in which more than 14,000 people have already died – the fifth highest national death toll of a pandemic linked to at least 150,000 deaths worldwide.
The Trooping of the Colour, ceremonial gun salutes in which blank rounds are fired from various locations across London, are typically used by the royal family to mark special occasions such as anniversaries and birthdays. The Queen's birthday is on April 21.
The Queen 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, a royal source said.
It is believed to be the first such request in the Queen's 68-year reign, the source said.
"'We will not be marking Her Majestys birthday in any special way' this year due to the #coronavirus crisis," ITV reporter Chris Ship, who first reported the queen's request, tweeted, citing a source.
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