LONDON: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has asked that there be no gun salutes to mark her birthday on Tuesday, a reporter for ITV News said on Twitter, saying that the monarch did not feel it appropriate in light of the coronavirus crisis.
Gun salutes, in which blank rounds are fired from various location across London, are typically used by the royal family to mark special occasions such as anniversaries and birthdays. The Queen’s 94th birthday is on April 21.
Reporter Chris Ship cited a Buckingham Palace source as saying: “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 said it would be the first time such request had been made in her 68-year reign.
Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Britain is at or near the peak of an outbreak of the coronavirus in which more than 14,000 people have already died – the fifth highest national death toll of a pandemic linked to at least 150,000 deaths worldwide.
“We will not be marking Her Majesty’s birthday in any special way” this year due to the #coronavirus crisis,” Ship quoted the source as saying.
Buckingham Palace last month said a parade to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday, which is celebrated in June, would not go ahead in its traditional form in light of restrictions on social gatherings.