Queen Elizabeth II marks 94th birthday without fanfare


LONDON (AP) — Britain is marking Queen Elizabeth II’s 94th birthday with silence Tuesday, as the nation in lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic forgoes the usual gun salutes and ringing of bells.

The London Palladium celebrates Queen Elizabeth II’s 94th birthday by displaying a message on live screens outside, in central London, Tuesday April 21, 2020. There will be no gun salutes in honour of the Queen’s birthday, due to country’s lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)

With thousands dead amid the outbreak, the monarch decided that the celebratory display of military firepower would not be appropriate. Nor will there be a celebratory peal of bells at Westminster Abbey, as the church where the queen was married and crowned is currently closed.

The royal family took to social media to share images of Elizabeth as she marks the occasion — but in keeping with social distancing rules, there will be no visits.

The queen will mark the day with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, 98, at Windsor Castle in Berkshire.