Covid-19: Queen Elizabeth cancels birthday celebrations over outbreak

Covid-19: Queen Elizabeth cancels birthday celebrations over outbreak

- Queen Elizabeth did not celebrate her 94th birthday in any special way and asked that there be no gun salutes to mark the occasion

- The queen said she had cancelled the ceremony because it would not be appropriate while the country battles the deadly coronavirus outbreak

- The Queen turned 94 on April 21; she was born in 1926

- Ceremonial gun salutes are typically fired for the royal family to mark special occasions

- The Queen was keen that no special measures were put in place to allow gun salutes, which is believed to be the first such request in the Queen's 68-year reign

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Queen Elizabeth's annual gun salute in honour of her birthday was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Queen Elizabeth II turned 94 years old on Tuesday and this year marked the first time in her 68-year reign that there would be no gun salutes.

A report by CNN showed the palace was expected to celebrate the queen's birthday on social media with all family-related affairs, including video calls, being private.

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Queen Elizabeth cancels her 94th birthday celebrations over pandemic

Queen Elizabeth II turned 94-years-old on Tuesday, April 21 and this year marked the first time in her 68-year reign that the saltire will not be taking place. Photo: Fox News
Source: UGC

"There will be no gun salute this year. Her Majesty was keen that there will be no special measures put in place in the current circumstances," a source was quoted.

With thousands dead, the monarch decided that the celebratory display of military firepower would not be appropriate.

Queen Elizabeth cancels her 94th birthday celebrations over pandemic

With thousands dead, the monarch decided that the celebratory display of military firepower would not be appropriate. Photo: CNN.
Source: UGC

There was no celebratory peal of bells from Westminster Abbey either as the church where the queen was married and crowned is currently closed.

The Trooping of Colour event, which is also known as the Queen's annual birthday parade, has also been cancelled due to the health crisis.

It was originally planned to take place in June, which is when her official state birthday is held.

In years past, the queen received gun salutes at military bases across the country to mark the occasion, with one also taking place at the royal palace as hundreds of citizens watch outside.

The monarch has enjoyed two birthdays a year since she ascended the throne, and the tradition actually started hundreds of years ago.

British monarchs have doubled up on the festivities since the 18th century, holding an "official" birthday for a public celebration and celebrating more privately on the real date.

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But why does she have two birthdays?

It is pretty simple, no-one wants to celebrate their birthday in the rain, and so, ever since the 1740s, monarchs have enjoyed a second birthday, with far more pomp, in the summer.

The tradition is believed to have started with the party-loving King George II in 1748.

That was the year that Britain's annual Trooping the Colour celebration was first associated with the sovereign's birthday.

George's real birthday was in November when British weather is far from ideal.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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