Coronavirus: Queen asks for no gun salutes to mark birthday as it would be ‘inappropriate’

The Queen has asked that there be no gun salutes to mark her birthday as it would be “inappropriate in the current circumstances”.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen did not want any special measures in place to allow gun salutes when she turns 94 on Tuesday.

Gun salutes, in which blank rounds are fired from around London, are typically used by the royal family to mark special occasions such as anniversaries and birthdays.

But this is believed to be the first time in the Queen’s 68-year reign that there will be none on her birthday.

A Buckingham Palace source said: “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.”

Also, any phone or video calls she has with family will be kept private, they added.

Government buildings have been given standard advice on flag-flying protocol for the day.

However, this advice includes an acknowledgement that “in current circumstances we are not expecting everyone to be able to follow this advice and you should continue to adhere to social distancing as set out by the government”.

It comes after more than 14,000 people have died from COVID-19, the fifth-highest death toll in the world from the virus, which originated in China late last year.

Some 150,000 people have died worldwide.

It has already been announced that the Trooping Of The Colour (the Queen’s annual birthday parade in June) would not go ahead in its traditional form.

There are also no current plans for an alternative day to mark the Queen’s birthday.

The Queen’s schedule has already been affected by coronavirus.

She usually stays at Windsor Castle for Easter but moved there from Buckingham Palace a week earlier than expected as a precautionary measure.

Over the Easter weekend, as churches were forced to remain closed, she broadcast a message to the nation – only the fifth of its kind during her reign.

In words that were also broadcast across the Commonwealth, she said: “We know that coronavirus will not overcome us”.

The Queen’s eldest son Prince Charles was among those who contracted the virus, although his symptoms were mild and he has recovered.

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