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Royal family wishes the Queen ‘a very happy 94th birthday’

The monarch was born on April 21 1926 and has been on the throne for more than 68 years.

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The royal family are apart on the Queen’s birthday (Victoria Jones/PA)

The royal family are apart on the Queen’s birthday (Victoria Jones/PA)

The royal family are apart on the Queen’s birthday (Victoria Jones/PA)

The royal family has wished the Queen “a very happy 94th Birthday” as the monarch marks the occasion in lockdown.

The Queen is with her husband of 72 years, the Duke of Edinburgh, at Windsor Castle in Berkshire with a reduced household for their protection.

Like the rest of the nation, the royals are staying away from one another as they follow the social distancing rules amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are at Anmer Hall in Norfolk with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and their Kensington Palace social media accounts shared birthday congratulations for William’s grandmother.

They wished the monarch a happy birthday alongside a picture of William and Kate showing the Queen around the duchess’s garden at the Chelsea Flower Show last year.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall’s Twitter account also sent its birthday wishes, with a collection of touching archive photos of Charles and his mother.

Charles, who has recovered from the Covid-19 illness, 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.

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.

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 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, the abbey told the PA news agency.

“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.

With the UK in lockdown and thousands dead from the coronavirus outbreak, there will also be no birthday gun salutes for what is believed to be the first time.

The Queen decided the celebratory display of military firepower would not be “appropriate” at this time.

PA