Queen Elizabeth Foregoes Birthday Gun Salute Over COVID-19

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

The Queen's birthday will not be marked by gun salutes in what is believed to be a first due to the coronavirus crisis.

Her Majesty will turn 94 on Tuesday, and instead of the usual gun salutes and "special measures" to honour the monarch, she will instead celebrate privately.

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.

Any video calls between family members will be private ones, with the Queen currently resigning in Windsor, while Prince Charles is in Scotland, Prince William in Norfolk and Harry now living in Los Angeles.

It is believed to be the first such request in the Queen's 68-year reign.

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Buckingham Palace last month said a parade to celebrate the Queen's official birthday, which is celebrated in June, would not go ahead in its traditional form in light of restrictions on social gatherings.

The Queen delivered a rare message over Easter encouraging people all over the world to stay strong.

Queen Elizabeth recently made a special broadcast regarding the coronavirus pandemic and said, "I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it".

"As people across New Zealand and the Commonwealth are experiencing unprecedented changes to their lives, concerns for family and friends, and financial uncertainty, you are in my thoughts and prayers", she wrote.

"Kia kaha, kia kia māia, kia manawanui", she said in the message, urging New Zealanders to be strong, be courageous, be steadfast in the wake of the pandemic.

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