96-round ‘Death Gun Salutes’ boom honoring Queen Elizabeth


“Death Gun Salutes” have been fired out across Great Britain as the nation enters a prolonged period of mourning following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

The long-reigning monarch died Thursday at Balmoral Castle, Scotland at the age of 96.

On Friday afternoon, regiments gathered at significant sites across the UK firing a 96-round salute, with each round symbolizing a year of the queen’s life.

The salutes began simultaneously at 1 p.m., and took place at Hyde Park and the Tower of London, as well as at Cardiff Castle in Wales and Edinburgh Castle in Scotland.

Death gun salutes were also performed in York, Portsmouth, Gibraltar and Belfast, Northern Island.

One round was fired every 10 seconds, meaning the salutes lasted for more than 15 minutes in total.

On Friday afternoon, regiments gathered at significant sites across the UK firing 96-round death gun salutes in honor of Queen Elizabeth II. The salute at Cardiff Castle, Wales is pictured above.
On Friday afternoon, regiments gathered at significant sites across the UK firing 96-round death gun salutes in honor of Queen Elizabeth II. The salute at Cardiff Castle, Wales is pictured above.
Members of the Honourable Artillery Company fired a 96-gun salute at Tower Bridge  on Friday afternoon, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Members of the Honourable Artillery Company fired a 96-gun salute at Tower Bridge on Friday afternoon, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Getty Images
Members of the Honourable Artillery Company prepare for a 96-gun salute at Tower Bridge.
Members of the Honourable Artillery Company prepare for a 96-gun salute at Tower Bridge.
Getty Images

Gun salutes are typically fired as a sign of respect or welcome but are also fired on special UK holidays, including the queen’s birthday.

Death gun salutes, however, are quite rare. They have previously been performed following the passing of Queen Victoria in 1901 and the passing of Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1965.

In Hyde Park, the salute was fired by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, with the sounds of the cannon fire heard at nearby Buckingham Palace.

Thousands of mourners stood outside the gates of the royal residence in silence as the salute unfolded.

Members of 105 Regiment Royal Artillery during the gun saltue at Hillsborough Castle, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Members of 105 Regiment Royal Artillery during the gun salute at Hillsborough Castle, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
AP
Members of 105 Regiment Royal Artillery perform the Gun Salute at Hillsborough Castle to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Members of 105 Regiment Royal Artillery perform the Gun Salute at Hillsborough Castle to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
AP
Members of the 4th Regiment Royal Artillery fire a 96 gun salute in York, England.
Members of the 4th Regiment Royal Artillery fire a 96-gun salute in York, England.
Getty Images

Meanwhile, the salute under the Tower of London was carried out by the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC), which dates its origins to 1537, making it the oldest regiment in the British Army.

Just hours after the salutes were performed, the queen’s oldest son and heir — the new King Charles III — arrived outside Buckingham Palace to greet mourners.

The 73-year-old is set to give a televised address to the nation at 6 p.m., but his official Coronation will not take place for several weeks.

The death gun salute is seen being carried out at Hillsborough Castle on Friday afternoon.
The death gun salute is seen being carried out at Hillsborough Castle on Friday afternoon.
AP
Thousands gather for the arrival of King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort at Buckingham Palace.
Thousands gather outside Buckingham Palace on Friday afternoon. The gun salute in nearby Hyde Park could be heard, as mourners stood in silence.
Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II and her son Prince Charles wave from Buckingham Palace on June 15, 2002 after the annual "Trooping The Colour" ceremony.
Queen Elizabeth II and her son Prince Charles wave from Buckingham Palace on June 15, 2002, after the annual “Trooping The Colour” ceremony.
AFP via Getty Images

On Thursday evening, following the death of the queen, Charles released a statement mourning his late mother.

“The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty, the queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” the 73-year-old said.

“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”



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