Queen Elizabeth II may have just turned 94, but the aftermath of unexpected tragedy has dampened what would otherwise be a joyous day. As Hello! reports, on Tuesday the Queen expressed her devastation about the mass shooting in Nova Scotia through a message she sent to the Governor General and Lieutenant Governor of the province.
The tragic event, which occurred over the weekend, is said to have been the worst mass shooting in Canada's recent history. It comes as no surprise then that Queen Elizabeth's message to the people of Nova Scotia is an emotional one, especially seeing as she and Prince Philip visited the Maritime province back in 2010 to celebrate the Canadian Navy's centenary.
Queen Elizabeth expresses condolences towards Nova Scotia
Queen Elizabeth's message to the people of Nova Scotia was shared by Buckingham Palace through the Royal Family's official website and social media channels. In it, the queen expressed sorrow towards the province on behalf of herself as well as the Duke of Edinburgh. "Prince Philip and I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Nova Scotia, and we send our condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those who have lost their lives," she said.
"I also pay tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of the officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other police services who selflessly responded to these devastating attacks, and to the emergency services who are supporting those who have been injured and affected. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Nova Scotia and all Canadians at this tragic time". The queen's message was shared in both French and English in recognition of Canada's status as a bilingual nation.
The Queen's birthday celebrations cancelled due to COVID-19
Queen Elizabeth's birthday was also impacted by another tragedy, which is the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As Hello! shares, the queen decided to cancel her traditional gun salute celebration for the first time in 68 years due to the global COVID-19 crisis. "There will be no gun salutes – Her Majesty was keen that no special measures were put in place to allow gun salutes as she did not feel it appropriate in the current circumstances," a palace source explained.
"We will not be marking Her Majesty's birthday in any special way," the source stated. "Any calls, video calls etc with family will be private and kept so". While there were no public celebrations, Queen Elizabeth did receive a number of birthday wishes throughout the day from members of the royal family, as well as a video call from Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan, and their son Archie!