Every year, on the Queen’s birthday, the Royal Gun Salute makes for a stirring – and ear-splittingly loud – occasion.
In Hyde Park at noon, the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, dressed in full ceremonial fig, fires 41 rounds. An hour later, at the Tower of London, a 21-gun salute is fired by the Honourable Artillery Company.
Today, though, for the first time in her 68-year reign, the guns will not fire on the Queen’s birthday. Buckingham Palace said Her Majesty thought it wasn’t appropriate for her 94th birthday, at a time of national crisis. Thanks to the coronavirus, the Trooping the Colour parade, marking the Queen’s official birthday in June, had already been cancelled. And now the gun salute, a tradition that goes right back to the 17th century, has been silenced, too….