The Queen

Queen's Birthday Gun Salutes Cancelled For Second Year

Her Majesty has decided the celebratory display of military firepower would not be "appropriate".

Traditional gun salutes to mark the Queen's birthday have been cancelled for the second consecutive year.

Her Majesty has decided the celebratory display of military firepower for her 95th birthday would not be "appropriate".

In what would normally be a week involving celebratory occasions for the birthday, events will be toned down to reflect a period of grief for the family.

It will be the first time during her reign that Her Majesty celebrates her birthday without Prince Philip.

In a statement to mark the day, the Queen said: "I have, on the occasion of my 95th birthday today, received many messages of good wishes, which I very much appreciate.

"While as a family we are in a period of great sadness, it has been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world.

"My family and I would like to thank you all for the support and kindness shown to us in recent days.

"We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life."

The Queen's birthday falls during the period of royal mourning, following the death of her husband on 9 April, aged 99 and four days after his funeral service in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

This means any public events to mark her birthday, such as the release of an official picture, are likely to be cancelled.

Gun Salutes for Queens 93rd birthday credit British Army 220419
Gun salutes for the Queen's 93rd birthday in 2019 (Picture: British Army).

The Queen has spent the lockdown at Windsor Castle with a reduced number of staff and aides dubbed 'HMS Bubble' and, under COVID-19 regulations, will be restricted in the number of birthday well-wishers she can see outside.

In normal circumstances, the only public acknowledgement of the Queen's April birthday is a gun salute in central London.

Teams of horses gallop across the park, pulling six 13-pounder guns at speed over the grass.

The guns are quickly detached and, upon command, fire booming blanks which reverberate through the ground, sending a puff of white smoke into the air, according to the Royal Family website.

The Queen's 93rd birthday in 2019 was marked with gun salutes at Hyde Park and the Tower of London.

Her Majesty was born on 21 April 1926, but her official birthday is marked by the annual Trooping of Colour in June, because of the unpredictable British weather.

This parade will also not go ahead in its traditional form for a second year due to the pandemic.

Buckingham Palace announced alternative plans for a parade in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle were reportedly being considered for this year's celebration, but that was before the death of Prince Philip.

Also celebrating a birthday this week is the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's youngest son, Prince Louis, who turns three on Friday.

William and Kate will also be celebrating a decade of marriage the following week, on 29 April.