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Coronavirus crisis deals fresh blow to Queen

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The cancellation of the annual gun salutes is both a symbolic and psychological blow to the British head of state

The coronavirus pandemic has dealt yet another blow to Queen Elizabeth II, this time forcing significant symbolic changes to her upcoming 94th birthday party.

According to a Buckingham Palace official there will be no gun salutes to mark the Queen’s 94th birthday on April 21 because of coronavirus-related concerns.

In symbolic terms this decision is momentous as it is the first time in the Queen’s 68-year reign that the salute – which usually takes place either at Hyde Park or the Tower of London – has been canceled.

This symbolic and psychological blow comes on the heels of the cancelation of the Trooping the Color parade in June, again because of restrictions surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

Despite going to the unusual length of addressing the nation directly in a pre-recorded televised message broadcast on April 05, the Queen has struggled to rally the nation during this unprecedented public health crisis

The Queen’s government is also widely perceived to be under-performing during the crisis by not putting stringent measures – for instance widescale testing and tracing – in place at the right time.

The government has also come under fire for failing to properly equip the National Health Service (NHS) by way of supplying them with adequate amounts of personal protection equipment (PPE).

Furthermore, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has been conspicuous by his absence throughout much of the crisis.

Johnson was unfortunate enough to contract a severe form of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and had to spend three nights in intensive care.

On discharge from London’s St Thomas’ hospital on April 12, Johnson delivered a jittery address to the nation where he praised the same NHS which is currently reeling under the shortage of PPE.   



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