AGENCIES, London: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has asked that there be no gun salutes to mark her birthday for the first time during her 68-year reign amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Queen’s birthday falls on April 21.
The monarch, who is set to turn 94 has also said government buildings will be exempt from flying flags if it creates a problem.
Ceremonial gun salutes, in which blank rounds are fired from various location across London, are typically used by the royal family to mark special occasions such as anniversaries and birthdays.
Elizabeth II said she did not feel gun salutes would be appropriate in the circumstances of the crisis, which has claimed more than 15,000 lives in Britain.
A Buckingham Palace source said her birthday will not be marked in any special way, adding that any phone or video calls she has with family will be kept private.
The source said: “There will be no gun salutes – Her Majesty 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.”
Britain is in its fourth week of a national lockdown, with businesses forced to close and citizens ordered to stay at home.