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Watch: Royal family footage of Queen Elizabeth as a young Princess for her 94th birthday
21 April 2020, 08:33
The Queen has turned 94 but is marking her birthday away from her family and without the traditional trappings of a royal birthday.
The royal family have shared touching private family footage of the Queen as a carefree young princess to mark the monarch’s 94th birthday.
Behind-the-scenes archive film from the Royal Collection Trust shows Princess Elizabeth playing with a pram as a toddler, as a happy young girl on a seesaw, and skipping and jumping around a garden with her younger sister, Princess Margaret.
It is traditional for royal gun salutes to be fired from different location across London and across the UK to mark the monarch's birthday.
But events have been cancelled at the request of the Queen due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
A Buckingham Palace source said: "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."
It has also been announced there will be no Trooping of the Colour ceremony to mark the Queen's birthday which is officially marked in June. There are currently no plans to mark her official birthday.
Instead, the monarch is with her husband of 72 years, the Duke of Edinburgh, at Windsor Castle in Berkshire with a reduced household for their protection.
Philip, 98, made his first major public statement on Monday since he retired nearly three years ago, thanking key workers including refuse collectors and postal staff for keeping essential services running during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The royal family are, like the rest of the country, staying away from one another as they follow the social distancing rules amid the pandemic.
The couple's eldest son the Prince of Wales, who has recovered from Covid-19, is at Birkhall in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, with the Duchess of Cornwall, while the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex are all in their own separate homes around the country.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are staying at Anmer Hall, Norfolk, with their three children, while the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who have quit as working royals, are thousands of miles away in Los Angeles.
A Buckingham Palace source said the Queen's birthday will not be marked in any special way, adding that any phone or video calls she has with family will be kept private.
The Queen has witnessed many turbulent times during her reign, but even she confessed of the global Covid-19 pandemic: "While we have faced challenges before, this one is different."
In a televised address to the nation, she stressed the country will overcome the virus, telling Britons: "We will meet again."
She also delivered what was believed to be her first Easter address, with the resolute message: "We know that coronavirus will not overcome us."
Elizabeth II, who has been monarch for more than 68 years, is Head of State, the Armed Forces and the Commonwealth.
She is less than two years away from her platinum jubilee of 70 years on the throne.