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Exclusive: No gun salutes for Prince Philip's birthday amid coronavirus pandemic

·Royal Correspondent
·2-min read
The Duke of Edinburgh drives a carriage during the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Windsor, Berkshire. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duke of Edinburgh drives a carriage during the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2019. (Getty Images)

There will be no gun salutes for Prince Philip’s 99th birthday, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed to Yahoo UK.

The Queen made history earlier this year when she asked the usual military salute to mark the monarch’s birthday be pulled, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now the MOD has confirmed there won’t be a salute for the Duke of Edinburgh either or for any other royals who would usually get one, until further notice.

Philip turns 99 on Wednesday.

An MOD spokesperson told Yahoo UK: “We can confirm that, following consultation with key stakeholders, ceremonial gunfire from all saluting stations continues to be temporarily suspended due to national COVID-19 restrictions.

“As such, the Gun Salute due to take place on Wednesday, 10 June 2020 for the birthday of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will now not take place.

“Future such events will continue to be regularly reviewed in conjunction with current Government COVID related guidance.”

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 7: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh join members of the Order of Merit ahead of a luncheon at Windsor Castle on May 7, 2019 in Windosr, England. Established in 1902 by King Edward VII, The Order of Merit recognises distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture. Admission into the order remains the personal gift of The Queen and is restricted to a maximum of 24 living recipients from the Commonwealth realms, plus a limited number of honorary members. (Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip join members of the Order of Merit at Windsor Castle in 2019. (Getty Images)

Read more: Why does the Queen have two birthdays?

Philip, who is the longest-serving royal consort, will mark his birthday privately at Windsor.

According to reports, it will be spent having lunch with the Queen in the Berkshire castle where they are both currently isolating.

Gun salutes are usually held for the Queen, Prince Charles, and the Duke of Edinburgh’s birthdays, as well as coronation day, and for royal births.

This year Prince Philip’s birthday is just three days before Trooping the Colour, which marks the Queen’s official birthday.

She’s already marked her real birthday in lockdown, and her official birthday will involve a mini version of the trooping celebration instead of the usual fanfare.

Trooping the Colour usually gives people the opportunity to see the whole Royal Family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace as they watch a flypast by the RAF.

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh leaves after the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 18, 2019 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Frank Augstein  - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Philip at the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. (Getty Images)

Read more: Chocolate cake and gun salutes: How the Royal Family celebrates birthdays

It was thought Prince Harry and Meghan were going to come back to the UK for the event, but the couple would not be able to fly over easily now even if it were going ahead.

And they would have had to isolate for 14 days if they had arrived after 8 June.

The lack of full ceremony will spare Prince Andrew as he was unlikely to have been invited to stand on the balcony as in previous years.

It’s been reported that he will not make a return to full time royal duties after his disastrous interview with BBC Newsnight about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.