Queen is due to have a Zoom birthday with the royal family tomorrow as she celebrates turning 94 in isolation at Windsor Castle with Prince Philip, 98
- The Queen will use Zoom calls with her family to mark 94th birthday tomorrow
- Her Majesty is currently isolating at Windsor Castle, together with Prince Philip
- Like the rest of the country, coronavirus lockdown means they cannot see family
- The Queen has already said there will be no gun salutes to mark the birthday
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
The Queen is set to mark her 94th birthday tomorrow with a Zoom call with the rest of the royal family.
Her Majesty, who is currently in isolation at Windsor Castle with Prince Philip, 98, cannot be visited by loved ones to celebrate the big day amid the coronavirus lockdown.
Aides have been planning to set-up video calls to mark the celebration instead, allowing the Queen’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to wish her a happy birthday.
Last year, 16 members of the royal family were able to visit Her Majesty to mark her birthday – but the current restrictions mean video and phone calls will have to be used instead.
The Queen has already asked that there be no gun salutes to mark her birthday for the first time during her 68-year reign amid the pandemic.
The Queen, pictured celebrating her 93rd birthday last year, will celebrate with video calls tomorrow
Prince William and Kate Middleton have already used Zoom, with the family set to use the app tomorrow to wish the Queen a happy birthday
The monarch has also said Government buildings will be exempt from flying flags if it creates a problem.
Her Majesty said she did not feel gun salutes would be appropriate in the circumstances of the crisis, which has claimed more than 16,000 lives in Britain.
Gun salutes, in which blank rounds are fired across the UK, are typically used by the Royal Family to mark special occasions such as anniversaries and birthdays.
The Queen’s birthday parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, will also not go ahead because of the outbreak.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson did not confirm whether a Zoom call between the Queen and the rest of the family would go ahead, but added that any calls between the family ‘would be private’.
The Royal Family has already been active on Zoom during the lockdown, with Prince William and Kate Middleton enjoying conversations with school children and an interview with the BBC.
They also revealed how they had been checking on the other royals, including the Queen and Prince Charles, through video calls.
Kate said the family had been through ‘ups and downs’ during the lockdown ‘like lots of families’ since it was imposed on March 23, but they had stayed in touch with other family members using video conferencing apps.
The Queen will celebrate her 94th birthday in isolation in Windsor Castle with Prince Philip, 98
The Queen at Trooping the Colour on June 8 last year, with her family including Prince Charles (second left), Prince Andrew (centre right) and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (right, rear)
She said the family were getting used to contacting each other in a different way – and trying to avoid dropping the computer halfway through, adding: ‘It gets a bit hectic, I’m not going to lie.
‘With a two-year-old you have to take the phone away. It’s quite hectic for them all to say the right thing at the right time without pressing the wrong buttons. But it’s great and it’s nice to keep in touch with everybody.’
They said Charles, Kate’s parents Carole and Michael Middleton and ‘our familes’ have all enjoyed keeping in touch, but added of Louis: ‘For some reason he sees the red button and he always wants to press the red button.’
The Duchess also indicated that they might call Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Los Angeles next month to celebrate Archie’s first birthday on May 6.
Kate told how the Cambridges are using video apps to ‘share in on birthday calls and things like that’ to ensure they keep in touch with the rest of the royals.
In another Zoom call on April 8, William and Kate chaired a roundtable call in which they thanked mental health workers for supporting those who are struggling.
It comes as the prospects of an early end to the crippling coronavirus lockdown receded today as Boris Johnson is understood to be prioritising staving off a second wave of infections.
The Prime Minister has told colleagues his ‘overriding concern’ is to avoid a second peak in the pandemic that would plunge the country back into turmoil.
Mr Johnson recording a video message on Easter Sunday at Number 10 after his release from the hospital, before leaving for Chequers to recover from his illness
Mr Johnson is still recuperating from the disease at Chequers, but conveyed his views during a two-hour meeting on Friday with foreign secretary Dominic Raab, senior adviser Dominic Cummings, communications director Lee Cain, and cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill.
Government sources have also been frantically playing down suggestions circulated by senior Tories that schools could be reopened by mid-May, saying early June is more likely.
The timetable emerged amid signs of Cabinet splits over how quickly to ease the draconian curbs, with fears the economic damage will kill more people than the virus itself.
Mr Johnson seems to be taking a more cautious stance than Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove.
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