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Coronavirus scuttles Queen’s plans for 94th birthday celebration

Queen Elizabeth doesn't want any fuss over her 94th birthday amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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Queen Elizabeth has scuttled plans for a public celebration of her 94th birthday, saying it would be inappropriate to mark the occasion with massed gun salutes as her subjects confront the coronavirus pandemic.

Britain is at or near the peak of an outbreak 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.

Ceremonial 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 birthday is on April 21.

The Queen 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, a royal source said.

It is believed to be the first such request in the Queen’s 68-year reign.
Britain is in its fourth week of a national lockdown, with businesses forced to close and citizens ordered to stay at home.

Earlier this month, the country’s longest-serving monarch made an exceptional address to the nation, promising “Better days will return.”

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.