Queen Elizabeth Turns 94 Under Quarantine—She's Hosting A Zoom Call To Celebrate!
Is it time to practice our virtual curtsies?
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly pushed many people, businesses, and institutions to get creative with the way they conduct everyday activities, but the fact that the world's most recognizable grandmother from the most famous royal family is also riding this wave of change is just pretty darn impressive—and cute.
Specifically, the Queen, Queen Elizabeth II, is getting acquainted with Zoom, the popular video meeting app that hundreds of thousands around the world have turned to for virtual meetings. Only, she isn't using it for official business—she's using it to celebrate her 94th birthday on April 21!
It's the first time in her history as Britain's longest-reigning monarch (she's been queen for 68 years, to be exact) that she won't enjoy a face-to-face celebration with family members and other guests of honor. There won't be a public gathering of royal supporters for her, no gun salute in her honor, and no enjoying the outdoors with warm springtime weather. There won't even be a Trooping of the color in June, a summer event organized as part of her birthday celebration.
She insisted on forgoing tradition herself.
Taking into consideration the climate of hardship and uncertainty that all people are facing these days, Queen Elizabeth deemed it inappropriate to host such a large showcase of celebration; she wished to be in solidarity with the world, and so decided on a much more low-key birthday party—a decision that will surely bring her closer to the hearts of many!
Just as ordinary citizens have had to contend with strict social distancing measures to guard against potential infection, the Queen hasn't been exempted.
She's been on self-isolation mode in Windsor Castle with her husband, Prince Philip, for weeks now, and so have the rest of the royal family: her son Prince Charles went on quarantine in Scotland after being diagnosed with COVID-19 (he has recovered), the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Kate are in Norfolk with little George, Charlotte, and Louis, while Harry and Meghan, with baby Archie, are now California-based.
Prince William revealed that Zoom has essentially been their family's favorite way to stay in touch amidst the circumstances; they have a family video chat and it often lets all four generations of this brood talk to each other all at once.
However, the Queen's Zoom birthday bash will be kept private. The family is unlikely to release any photos or video clips from the chat, but as long as we know that they're safe, sound, and happy on such a special occasion, we'll be happy using our imagination to think of all the smiling and laughing shared via webcam.
The Queen last addressed Britain and Commonwealth nations on April 6 when she acknowledged the difficult times that lay ahead. She recognized those who have played critical roles in ensuring public health and safety, and ended her broadcast by assuring the nation that one day, all this will come to an end.
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Her Majesty The Queen addresses the UK and Commonwealth in a special broadcast recorded at Windsor Castle. . ‘We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.’ . Watch The Queen’s broadcast in full on our IGTV channel.
After the Queen, Prince William's youngest, Prince Louis, will celebrate his second birthday on April 23. (But his mother, Kate, joked that he hasn't quite mastered the art of the Zoom call just yet and reflexively tries to press the "red" end call button every time he sees it).
No matter how they celebrate these happy occasions, we're sending our well-wishes to this family and just like them, continue to look forward to brighter times ahead!
Photos from @theroyalfamily