Gun salutes to mark Queen's 88th birthday

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired a 41-gun royal salute in Green Park, London

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The Queen's 88th birthday has been marked across the UK with traditional gun salutes.

A 41-gun royal salute was fired in Green Park in London and a 62 gun-salute from the Tower of London.

Gunners from 105th Regiment Royal Artillery fired two 21-gun royal salutes at Edinburgh and Stirling Castles.

Salutes were also fired in Northern Ireland and Wales. The Queen is spending the day privately at Windsor.

Tradition followed

The Queen was born on 21 April 1926 at the home of her mother's parents in Mayfair.

However, her birthday is also celebrated officially each year in June at the Trooping the Colour service - which this year will take place on 14 June.

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery arrive at Green Park The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery arrived at Green Park ahead of its 41-gun salute
Royal salute at Green Park Hundreds gathered to watch soldiers fire 13-pounder World War One guns at midday
Soldiers prepare to fire a salute at the Tower of London An hour later, the Honourable Artillery Company prepared to fire a salute at the Tower of London
Royal salute at the Tower of London Sixty-two shots were fired by gun crews at the Tower of London
Gunners from 105th Regiment Royal Artillery fire a 21-gun salute at Edinburgh Castle Gunners from 105th Regiment Royal Artillery fired a 21-gun salute at Edinburgh Castle
Gunners from 105th Regiment Royal Artillery fire a 21-gun salute at Stirling Castle Soldiers from the same regiment fired a salute at Stirling Castle

The gun salute at Green Park was carried out by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery using 13-pounder World War One guns drawn by 71 horses.

Royal Salutes

  • Gun salutes are fired as a sign of respect or welcome
  • The basic royal salute is 21 rounds; however, Royal Parks add an extra 20
  • The Tower of London fires the standard 21, then another 20 because it is a royal palace and then another 21 for "the City of London"
  • A total of 124 guns are fired at the Tower whenever Trooping The Colour coincides with the Duke of Edinburgh's birthday on 10 June
  • Other countries which carry out 21-gun salutes for royalty include Canada, Denmark and Sweden

Before the King's Troop arrived, the Band of the Honourable Artillery Company and Royal Yeomanry played celebratory music.

The 62-shot salute at the Tower of London was completed by the Honourable Artillery Company.

It included 21 shots for the Queen's birthday, 20 because it is a royal palace, and 21 to follow a tradition in which ships would fire their guns before entering the City of London to show they were not threatening.

Gunners from 105th Regiment Royal Artillery fired two 21-gun royal salutes in Scotland; while in Wales, the salute was fired at Cardiff City Hall.

The salute in Northern Ireland was carried out at Hillsborough Castle in County Down.

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