LONDON – Britain marked 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.
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 marked the occasion — but in keeping with social distancing rules, there were no visits.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, joined by their son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, held a video call with to wish her a happy birthday. Other family members were also expected to telephone and video call the monarch privately to deliver their birthday messages.
The royal family also shared private family footage of the monarch as a young princess. The Royal Collection Trust archive film showed Elizabeth playing on a seesaw and in a garden with her sister, the late Princess Margaret.
The queen will mark the day with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, 98, at Windsor Castle in Berkshire.