There will be no gun salute to mark The Queen’s 94th birthday next week, Buckingham Palace has announced, saying Her Majesty thought it would be ‘inappropriate’ during the pandemic.
“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,” a Buckingham Palace source said.
In times of physical distancing, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces took the step to prevent a breach of current official advice to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
This will be the first time in her 68-year reign that there will be no such salute. King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery usually take to Hyde Park with their guns to mark special occasions, and the Honourable Artillery Company at the Tower of London.
21 rounds are fired for a royal birthday, with an extra 20 rounds when it takes place in a royal park or palace. Another 21 rounds are added when the salute occurs within the City of London, as it is at the Tower, making that a 62-gun salute.
Gun saltues are fired throughout the year to mark various occasions, including Accession Day, Coronation Day, the State Opening of Parliament and three senior royal birthdays. We also hear the loud ringing of canon during state visits and for royal births.
Government guidelines for the 2020 celebration also mean there is no obligation for government buildings and town halls to fly the union flag at full mast, as is also traditional on the Queen’s birthday