Queen’s birthday to pass without gun salute for second time

Victoria Ward
·2 min read
The Queen attended a ceremony to mark her official 94th birthday at Windsor Castle in Windsor on June 13 last year - Toby Melville/Reuters
The Queen attended a ceremony to mark her official 94th birthday at Windsor Castle in Windsor on June 13 last year - Toby Melville/Reuters

There will be no gun salute to mark the Queen’s 95th birthday on Wednesday as she continues to mourn the loss of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.

For the second consecutive year, the traditional 41-gun and 21-gun salutes in Hyde Park and the Tower of London on April 21 have been cancelled, the Ministry of Defence said.

Her Majesty will continue to observe a period of mourning until Friday and as such, is understood to be reluctant to mark this year’s anniversary.

She is expected to enjoy a quiet lunch with close family members at Windsor Castle, the details of which will remain private.

Plans to mark her birthday with a new portrait have also been abandoned, the Daily Mail reports.

The Royal family’s social media channels will likely be the only commemoration of the Queen turning 95.

Royal sources suggested that even before the Duke’s death on April 9, the Queen had not wanted her forthcoming birthday to be marked in any meaningful way.

She was keen for the focus to be on his 100th birthday celebrations, which would have taken place on June 10, one said.

Last year, the salute was cancelled in line with the Queen’s wishes that no "special measures" were taken while the pandemic continued.

The monarch will no doubt spend time on Wednesday in quiet reflection, remembering last year’s birthday, spent with her husband at Windsor during the first lockdown, as they isolated together.

The Queen’s birthday parade, Trooping the Colour, which was due to have taken place on June 12, was cancelled in March for the second consecutive year due to the pandemic.

Before the Duke’s death, Buckingham Palace had been considering a smaller event within the quadrangle at Windsor Castle, in line with last year's ceremony.

Last summer, an event described as a "mini Trooping" was held at Windsor, led by the Welsh Guards and massed Bands of the Household Division, to the clear delight of Her Majesty.

The annual Garter service, also usually held in June, has also been cancelled.

While the Queen is determined to continue carrying out some solo engagements, she is thought unlikely to undertake anything in public in the coming weeks.

However, Buckingham Palace has confirmed that she will attend the state opening of parliament at the Palace of Westminster on May 11, one of the key events in her diary, when she is due to be accompanied by the Prince of Wales.