Coronavirus: Queen to leave London early and cancels Garden Parties

17 March 2020, 16:23

The palace confirmed all the royal households are studying the implications of the new government advice
The palace confirmed all the royal households are studying the implications of the new government advice. Picture: Getty

By Matt Drake

A number of changes are being made to the Queen's diary amid the coronavirus outbreak, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

Several royal engagements such as Trooping the Colour, the Epsom Derby and Royal Ascot are all unlikely to go ahead in June after Boris Johnson warned social distancing could last months.

The palace confirmed all the royal households are studying the implications of the new government advice.

Three Garden Parties hosted by the Queen due to be held at Buckingham Palace in May have been canceled.

The palace advised guests already invited to the parties to attend in 2021 instead.

On Tuesday, the palace issued a statement saying: “As a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances, a number of changes are being made to The Queen’s diary.”

Her Majesty will move to Windsor Castle for the Easter period on March 19. This is one week earlier than planned and she will likely stay there for a prolonged period of time.

The statement added: "As a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances, a number of changes are being made to The Queen’s diary.

"Audiences due to take place this week at Buckingham Palace will go ahead as planned. These include receiving the Prime Minister, the Commanding Officer of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and the Bishop of Hereford. Future Audiences will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, in line with the appropriate advice.

"Her Majesty will move to Windsor Castle for the Easter period on Thursday 19th March, one week earlier than planned. It is likely The Queen will stay there beyond the Easter period.

"In consultation with the Medical Household and Government, a number of public events with large numbers of people due to have been attended by The Queen, and other Members of the Royal Family, in the coming months will be cancelled or postponed."

Read more: How long does Covid-19 live on surfaces? Is post from China safe?

Also, the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the State Visit by the Emperor and Empress of Japan will be made in due course.

Royal families in Europe have also taken action against the pandemic with the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish among the households cancelling engagements.

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