Buckingham Palace released an incredibly heartbreaking message written by the Queen on her 94th birthday on Tuesday. Her Majesty sent a message of condolence to the Governor General and the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, following the worst mass shooting in Canada's modern history.
The Queen wrote: "Prince Philip and I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Nova Scotia, and we send our condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those who have lost their lives.
READ: Prince William and Kate mark the Queen's 94th birthday with heartwarming photo
"I also pay tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of the officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other police services who selflessly responded to these devastating attacks, and to the emergency services who are supporting those who have been injured and affected.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Nova Scotia and all Canadians at this tragic time."
The message was also issued in French, the second-most commonly spoken language in Canada. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Nova Scotia on their last official visit to the country in 2010, where they celebrated the centenary of the Canadian navy.
MORE: Prince Philip releases incredibly rare statement during COVID-19 crisis
The Queen in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2010
The royal family paid tribute to Her Majesty on her 94th birthday on 21 April, with the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posting well wishes and photographs on their social media accounts.
The Queen cancelled her traditional birthday celebrations for the first time in her 68-year reign in the wake of COVID-19. Instead of the usual gun salutes, she celebrated the day privately at Windsor Castle. "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."
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."
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