London, April 18 (IANS) The UK’s Queen Elizabeth II has asked to cancel the traditional gun salutes to mark her birthday for the very first time during her 68-year reign amid the coronavirus pandemic, it was reported on Saturday.
The Monarch, who is set to turn 94 on April 21, has also said government buildings will be exempt from flying flags if it creates a problem, reports The Daily Mail newspaper.
The Queen said that she did not feel gun salutes would be appropriate in the circumstances of the crisis, which has claimed 14,607 lives in the UK and infected a total of 104,769 people.
The idea of looking at an alternative Trooping the Colour event to mark her official birthday in June has also been dropped as the UK continues in lockdown.
“Her Majesty 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,” the Daily Mail report quoted a source as saying.
The Queen will mark her birthday privately in Windsor, where she has been with her 98-year-old husband Prince Philip since leaving Buckingham Palace on March 19.
On April 5, the Queen urged the country to pull together to fight coronavirus in a TV message, saying: “If we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it.”
Her historic intervention was only the fifth time she has addressed the nation in a TV broadcast, apart from at Christmas, during her reign.