Queen's birthday gun salute cancelled amid coronavirus outbreak

  • Published
Queen Elizabeth IIImage source, Buckingham Palace
Image caption,
The Queen addressing the nation during the coronavirus outbreak

There will be no gun salutes to mark the Queen's 94th birthday on Tuesday because of the coronavirus outbreak.

A Buckingham Palace official said the monarch had decided it would not be appropriate at this time.

It is believed to be the first time in her 68-year reign that there will be no such salute, which usually take place at Hyde Park and the Tower of London.

The Trooping the Colour parade in June to mark the Queen's official birthday has already been cancelled.

That announcement came after the government introduced restrictions in the UK which required people to stay at home.

Over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, the Queen stressed the importance of maintaining the coronavirus lockdown, saying "by keeping apart we keep others safe".

That message followed her televised address to the nation on 5 April in which she stressed the country would overcome the virus, and told Britons in lockdown: "We will meet again."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Gun salutes are used to mark special royal occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries

The Palace said the Queen's birthday on 21 April would not be marked in any special way, adding that any phone or video calls she has with family would be kept private.

The Queen cut short her official duties because of the coronavirus crisis, and is staying at Windsor Castle with the Duke of Edinburgh.