Queen Elizabeth released a statement in the wake of the tragic shooting in Nova Scotia on her 94th birthday.
On Tuesday, the Royal Family’s official social media pages posted a statement from the Queen and her husband Prince Philip, who officially retired from royal duties in 2017, sending out their condolences to the Governor General and Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, Canada regarding a mass shooting that killed 19 people over the weekend.
“Prince Philip and I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Nova Scotia, and we send our condolences to the friends, friends and colleagues of those who have lost their lives,” the statement read.
The Queen's message to the people of Nova Scotia: pic.twitter.com/sucHkZM0FC
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 21, 2020
It continued, “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.”
The shooting is known to be one of Canada’s deadliest. The rampage began in the small town of Portapique. From there, authorities chased the gunman — later identified as 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman — across the province, where he shot more victims. Police told the New York Times that the rampage did not begin as a random act of violence, but that the killings became more random as they progressed.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Nova Scotia and all Canadians at this tragic time,” the Queen’s statement concluded.
The statement was also released in French, the second most common language in the Commonwealth country.
The Queen’s birthday will be celebrated differently than in years past given the current circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The monarch is spending it privately at Windsor Castle, where she is isolating alongside her husband, Prince Philip, 98, amid the outbreak.
Queen Elizabeth is scaling down her birthday celebrations this year. The monarch has requested that there be no special gun salutes to mark her birthday, which is usually celebrated with army cannons being fired in some of the Royal Parks in central London and elsewhere. It is thought that it’s the first time in her reign that the salutes have not taken place.
The Queen’s official birthday celebration of Trooping the Colour in June has also been cancelled and there are no current plans for any alternative way of marking her birthday.
Though the rest of her family is also in lockdown, members of the royal family took to social media to wish their matriarch a happy 94th birthday.
“Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a very happy 94th birthday today!” the royal couple captioned the post on their Kensington Royal Instagram page, complete with a birthday cake and red balloon emojis.
Prince Charles, 71, paid tribute to his mother on social media with a mix of old and new photos, including a black-and-white photo that shows Queen Elizabeth smile at her young son as he sits in a playpen.
Another shot features the Queen with a big smile on her face as she rides with Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in a horse-drawn carriage, while the post concludes with a snap of the Queen with her two eldest children, Charles and Princess Anne.
“Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a very Happy 94th Birthday,” they wrote.