Queen Elizabeth Celebrates Her 94th Birthday in Lockdown, Sends Condolences to Canada on Nova Scotia Mass Shooting
In a brief but powerful address on the COVID-19 pandemic on April 5, the Queen assured her British and Commonwealth subjects undergoing self-isolation and social distancing: “We will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.” Photo: Youtube/BBC
The Queen takes time during her quiet birthday celebration in isolation to send a message of condolence to Nova Scotia and Canada via Twitter, following this weekend’s horrific mass shooting, which to date, has taken the lives of 19 people.
Like for so many of us celebrating a birthday during the coronavirus crisis, the party is more subdued than usual for Queen Elizabeth who marks her 94th birthday today while in isolation with her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, at Windsor Castle.
For the first time in her 68-year reign, ceremonial gun salutes are cancelled, with Her Majesty saying it wouldn’t be appropriate during this time of pandemic. The gun salutes, which are fired from various locations across London, are traditionally used by the Royal Family to mark special occasions such as anniversaries and birthdays.
The annual Trooping the Colour, a military parade in London to mark the Queen’s “official” birthday in June, will also not go ahead due to restrictions on social gatherings, Buckingham Palace said. The tradition of a public birthday celebration for British monarchs dates back to King George II in 1748.
To date, COVID-19 has claimed more than 16,000 lives in Britain. On Monday, Prince Philip, 98, gave a rare statement since his retirement in 2017, thanking front-line workers in the U.K. for their work in fighting the coronavirus.
“As we approach World Immunization Week, I wanted to recognise the vital and urgent work being done by so many to tackle the pandemic; by those in the medical and scientific professions, at universities and research institutions, all united in working to protect us from COVID-19.
“On behalf of those of us who remain safe and at home, I also wanted to thank all key workers who ensure the infrastructure of our life continues; the staff and volunteers working in food production and distribution, those keeping postal and delivery services going, and those ensuring the rubbish continues to be collected,” he added.
With physical distancing in place, Her Majesty will reportedly gather with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren virtually via a video call on Zoom. And birthday wishes from the Royal Family have also poured in via social media.
“Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a very happy 94th birthday today!” read a tweet from Kensington Palace’s account, which is the official account of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The post also featured a photo taken of the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London.
And from Clarence House, the official Twitter account of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, their birthday wish included a montage of photos of the Queen throughout the years.
The Queen expressed her thanks for all the birthday messages she received on the official Buckingham Place The Royal Family Twitter account, including private footage of the young Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Nova Scotia and all Canadians at this time”
Queen Elizabeth also took time today to send condolences to the people of Nova Scotia and Canada via Twitter following this weekend’s horrific mass shooting, which to date, has taken the lives of 18 people.
“Prince Philip and I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Nova Scotia, and we send our condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those who have lost their lives,” read the statement from the Royal Family twitter account and signed by ‘Elizabeth R’.
The Queen also paid tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of the officers from the RCMP as well as other police and emergency services. The message concluded by saying, “My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Nova Scotia and all Canadians at this time.”