Queen opts to scale back public birthday plans due to ‘glaring absence’ of Prince Philip

Queen was 'formidable' at Prince Philip's funeral says Lette

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There will be no gun salute or new portrait shared on the Queen’s birthday on April 21, it has been claimed. The Queen is understood to be reluctant to publicly celebrate her birthday as it comes while she is still observing a period of mourning.

Plans to release a new photograph of the Queen will be discarded, according to royal expert Rebecca English.

She said: “Plans to mark the day with a new portrait of her are set to be shelved because she is still in the official period of royal mourning for her beloved husband.”

Referring to both the enormous loss of the Queen and to the ongoing feud within the Firm, Ms English added: “The glaring absence of Prince Philip will be impossible to ignore and the run-up to what should have been a joyous day is set to be overshadowed by speculation about the major rift in her family.”

And the Ministry of Defence has confirmed the gun salutes traditionally held on the Queen’s birthday won’t go ahead for the second year in a row.

Since the Queen’s accession to the throne in February 1952, April 21 has been marked by 41-gun and 21-gun salutes in Hyde Park and the Tower of London.

Last year, however, as the country was in the midst of the first national lockdown, the monarch asked for her birthday not to be publicly marked.

The only official way the Queen’s 95th birthday will likely be marked are set to come from the Royal Family’s official social media channels.

Through Twitter and Instagram, Kensington Palace, Clarence House and Buckingham Palace usually share a picture and a brief message of well-wishes on key personal days for family members.

The Queen will continue to observe a period of mourning until Friday, two weeks after the death of Prince Philip.

Even months before the sad passing of her husband, royal insiders had claimed the Queen wanted to step aside this year to allow Prince Philip to be at the “centre of the attention” as he was set to reach an incredible milestone.

A source close to the Queen told Vanity Fair in January: “The Queen wants the Duke to be the centre of attention in June and for the big celebration for herself to be for her Platinum Jubilee in 2022.”

The Duke of Edinburgh would have turned 100 on June 10 – two days before the Queen’s Trooping the Colour parade.

Trooping the Colour, which marks the Queen’s official birthday, is also not to go ahead in its traditional form, it was announced in March.

Explaining holding a parade in central London would not be possible while also abiding by the coronavirus regulations in place, Buckingham Palace said last month it was considering a stripped-down celebration at Windsor Castle – much like it happened last year.

The Queen is expected to spend her birthday quietly at Windsor.

According to Ms English, the monarch will likely drive “herself to Frogmore, one of her favourite parts of the estate, to walk her new puppies, Fergus, a dorgi, and corgi Muick.”

She may also receive visits from Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, who live fairly close to her Berkshire home, and video calls from other relatives including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Following the end of her mourning period, the Queen will fully resume her royal duties.

However, she is not expected to carry out any public visits for a few weeks, focusing on engagements via video links, calls and the Government red box.

Buckingham Palace confirmed the Queen will attend the State Opening of Parliament on May 11.

She will be accompanied by Prince Charles, who has been on the Queen’s side when travelling at the Houses of Parliament since 2017, when the Duke of Edinburgh retired from royal duties.

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