Queen Elizabeth II Turns 94! How Kate Middleton & Other Royals are Celebrating the Monarch

Amid the din of the coronavirus pandemic, Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 94th birthday today. And while there’s decidedly less pomp and circumstance to mark the occasion than years prior, tributes to the monarch are rolling in. Not only from the royal family’s official social media feeds but also from individual members of the royal family like Kate Middleton and more — many of which include black-and-white glimpses into the queen’s storied past.

Make no mistake; this birthday year is already markedly different for Queen Elizabeth II. Royal birthdays and anniversaries are traditionally observed with ceremonial gun salutes and the ringing of bells. This year, the queen decided to forego them out of deference for the health crisis currently gripping the globe. And in keeping with social distancing rules, there will reportedly be no visits. Rather, the queen will spend a quiet birthday at her Windsor Castle home in Berkshire with her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who is 98.

However, the royal family is seizing the opportunity to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II on social media. Early on Tuesday morning, Buckingham Palace posted a grainy home video of the monarch as a child. “Thank you for your messages today, on The Queen’s 94th birthday,” the palace posted on Twitter. “In this private footage from @RCT, we see The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, with her family, including her younger sister Princess Margaret.”

In a second tweet, they toasted the “Head of the Commonwealth, Head of the Armed Forces, Head of State in 16 countries and the longest-reigning Monarch in British History” with a series of four photos taken at various points in the life of the great “wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.”

From there, the royal birthday tributes continued to roll in. Kate Middleton and Prince William shared a photo of the pair with the queen at last year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, writing on the Kensington Palace Twitter accounts, “Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a very happy 94th Birthday today!”

Clarence House, the account run by Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, shared several photos of the queen throughout her life — several taken with them, including one of the queen with Charles when he was a toddler.

Noticeably absent from the birthday tribute, of course, are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who recently moved to LA to start their lives as non-working royals, recently let their royal social media handles go inactive. Still, we’re sure they’ve wished Her Majesty The Queen happy birthday via text or phone.

And while British monarchs have been doubling up on birthday festivities since the 18th century, it would seem both of the queen’s celebrations will be low-key this year.

Typically, Queen Elizabeth II would celebrate today more privately with her family. Then, in June, a second birthday celebration is held at the Trooping of the Colour — a military parade in London. This is a much more extravagant ceremony. However, the monarchy has already announced that this year’s Trooping of the Colour has been canceled with no alternative plans so far to mark the queen’s official birthday.

Before you go, check out 100 best photos of the royal family from the past 20 years.

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