COVID-19: Queen Elizabeth scraps b'day celebration

COVID-19: Queen Elizabeth scraps b'day celebration

Agency News

Moscow, Apr 18: Queen Elizabeth II asked that there be no gun salutes to mark her 94th birthday, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take lives in the United Kingdom, ITV’s Royal reporter Chris Ship said on Saturday, citing a Buckingham Palace source.

''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," Ship cited the source as saying. For the first time in the Queen's 68 years at the throne, no royal ceremonies will be held and local authorities will not be obliged to fly the UK's Union flag, but will be asked to abide by social distancing guidelines.

Late last month, the Palace announced the Queen ordered her official birthday parade in June, known as Trooping the Colour, to be cancelled as well. The Buckingham Palace source said that there will be no alternative marking of the birthday and that the day will not be marked in any special way, Ship reported.

All the changes were ''in line with Her Majesty’s wishes,'' the source added. The UK is among the handful of worst-affected countries by the Novel Coronavirus, with nearly 110,000 cases of infection and almost 15,000 hospital deaths, according to the Department of Health. (UNI)