LONDON – The United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II marked her 94th birthday on Tuesday without any public celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Queen celebrated her birthday in private with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, 98, at Windsor Castle outside London, where they have set up residence during the outbreak.
There was no customary gun salute to mark the occasion as the monarch had decided it would not be appropriate under the circumstances, according to Buckingham Palace.
It was believed to be the first time that the salute, at Hyde Park and the Tower of London, has not taken place during her reign of almost 70 years.
Buckingham Palace released footage from private home videos of the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, and her younger sister Margaret playing together as children.
Her grandson Prince William and his wife Kate and the Queen’s son Prince Charles all sent public birthday messages.
Clarence House shared four photographs of the Queen with Charles and his wife Camilla.
Kensington Palace posted a picture online of William and Kate with the monarch at the Chelsea Flower Show and both wished her a “very happy 94th Birthday.”
Members of the British royal family have been confined to different residences during the UK’s lockdown.
Prince Charles, who has recovered from COVID-19, and Camilla are at Balmoral, a large estate owned by the royals in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
William and Kate, are at Anmer Hall country house in eastern England with their three young children.
The Queen, who gave a rare televised speech a few weeks ago to the British public, has reduced staff at Windsor to protect her and her husband from infection.
Philip came out of retirement on Monday with a public statement thanking key workers for keeping the country functioning during the outbreak.
The Trooping the Colour parade which is usually held on the Queen’s official birthday in June has also been cancelled.
The Queen has two birthdays – one on April 21, the day she was born, and her official one on June 13 which has been celebrated since 1788, when a holiday was declared to mark the birthday of Britain’s monarch.