Burj Khalifa emits Union Jack to mark the Queen's birthday
Burj Khalifa emits Union Jack to mark the Queen's birthday Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: For the first time in the history UK called off celebrations to mark the 94th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II due to the coronavirus lockdown.

However, the UAE ensured that the birthday of friendly country’s monarch did not go unnoticed.

Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, beamed the British flag to honour the birthday of the Queen on Tuesday night.

Dubai did what exactly the Queen wished too.

The Buckingham Palace had said the Queen’s birthday would not be marked in any special way.

There was to no gun salute in her honour and the bells of Westminster Abbey did not ring out for the first time during her nearly seven decades of reign.

The Palace had said that the Queen had also instructed that flags not be flown in her honour unless it was done while observing social distancing.

That is what happened on Burj Khalifa’s façade, the largest LED screen in the world.

The Union Jack was lit up without violating the rules of social distancing.

British Ambassador to the UAE Patrick Moody shared the image of Burj Khalifa draped in the Union Jack and thanked the UAE for the tribute.

“A special day as we mark the birthday of HM The Queen. Sorry we couldn’t celebrate with all our friends in UAE as we normally do each year. But thank you for showing our flag. Your friendship to the U.K. is treasured now more than ever,” he posted on Twitter in English and Arabic.

Childhood video

While the Queen spent the day in lockdown with her husband Prince Philip at Windsor Castle, the Royal Family Twitter account posted archive footage of the Queen as a child and thanked the public for the birthday messages.

“To those of you also celebrating your birthdays today at home, with or without your loved ones - we send you many happy returns,” it said.

The archive film shows the world’s oldest monarch and longest-serving head of state as a young Princess Elizabeth playing with a pram as a toddler, on a seesaw and dancing on a yacht with her sister Princess Margaret.

The palace, which was planning her platinum jubilee in 2022 marking 70 years on the throne, has also scrapped the Queen’s official birthday parade in June, known as ‘Trooping the Colour’ due to the COVID-19 pandemic.