Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, the world’s oldest monarch, turns 95 on Wednesday, but there will be no public celebrations just days after she bade farewell to her husband of seven decades at his funeral.
Prince Philip, whom Elizabeth married in 1947, died on April 9 at the age of 99. The royals paid their final respects to the family’s patriarch at his funeral on Saturday at Windsor Castle.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the queen sat alone during the somber service for Philip, who she had described as her “strength and stay.”
The queen typically spends her April birthday privately without much public celebration and this is her second birthday in a row to take place under coronavirus restrictions. Last year, there were no celebratory gun salutes, which the queen felt would be inappropriate in the midst of the pandemic.
There are still strict limits on public gatherings in the U.K. because of worries over Covid-19 spreading. Groups of only six people or fewer are allowed to meet outside, only 15 people are allowed at weddings and 30 people can attend funerals.
The queen celebrates two birthdays each year, the actual day of her birth in April, and an official birthday in June, when the traditional Trooping the Colour parade takes place featuring soldiers in ceremonial uniforms, a tradition dating back to the 18th century. This year’s parade was cancelled in March due to Covid-19.
Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926, in Bruton Street, central London. She ascended to the throne in 1952 at the age of 25, and surpassed her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch in September, 2015.