The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have shared a message for the Queen in honour of her 94th birthday. A celebratory post was uploaded onto the royal couple's Kensington Royal Instagram account. It showed a photo of Prince William and Kate with the monarch at the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and read: "Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a very happy 94th birthday today!" along with a birthday cake and balloon emoji.
William and Kate have shared a birthday message for the Queen
Sadly, the Queen is marking her big day away from her family as the coronavirus lockdown continues. The monarch is currently residing at Windsor Castle with her 98-year-old husband, Prince Philip, along with a reduced household for their protection. She made the decision to cancel her annual birthday celebration for the first time in her 68-year reign in the wake of the crisis, and instead of the usual gun salute and "special measures" to honour the monarch, she will instead celebrate privately. "We will not be marking Her Majesty's birthday in any special way," a palace source said. "Any calls, video calls etc with family will be private and kept so. There will be a social media post as per normal."
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The palace source added: "There will be no gun salutes – 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. We believe that this may be the first time in her reign." Usually a 21-gun salute is fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery from either Hyde Park or Green Park, followed by a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London by the Honourable Artillery Company. However, the Queen decided the celebratory display of military firepower would not be "appropriate" at this time.
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The annual Trooping the Colour celebration has also been cancelled in its usual form
The bells of Westminster Abbey - the church where the monarch was married and crowned - will also stay silent on her birthday for the first time in more than a decade. The Abbey is currently closed, meaning the celebratory peal which has taken place in her honour on her actual birthday - April 21 - every year since 2007, will not be able to go ahead. "We are unable to ring our bells as the church is currently closed. So, it will be a virtual happy birthday this year via the Abbey's social media channels," a spokeswoman for the central London church said.
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The Queen has two birthdays - the day she was born in April and her official one in June, which is celebrated with the Trooping the Colour ceremony, but this too has been cancelled in its traditional form this year.