Queen may 'never return to frontline duties' due to coronavirus

11 May 2020, 11:32

The Queen may never return to her normal public duties
The Queen may never return to her normal public duties. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

The Queen may never return to her frontline royal duties if coronavirus restrictions remain in place for years.

The Monarch, 94, is still in coronavirus lockdown at Windsor Castle with the Duke of Edinburgh.

She has already been at her Berkshire residence for almost eight weeks, having moved from Buckingham Palace in March, and spent her 94th birthday in lockdown on April 21.

The Royals are expected to remain there for an indefinite amount of time after palace officials said her safety will not be risked during the crisis.

Read more: Coronavirus lockdown - What changes has Boris Johnson made to restrictions?

A royal source told The Times: “The Queen won’t do anything which goes against the advice of people in her age category and she’s going to take all the appropriate advice."

She is keeping in touch with her family by phone and video calls as the royals follow social-distancing rules along with the rest of the country.

The Queen is in lockdown at Windsor Castle
The Queen is in lockdown at Windsor Castle. Picture: PA

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It follows reports that the Queen is set to withdraw from public life for months, the longest enforces absence throughout her 68 year reign.

The Queen normally returns to Buckingham Palace from Windsor in May until she travels to Balmoral for her July summer break.

The Trooping of the Colour,  the Order of the Garter Service, and her garden parties have already been cancelled as a result of the outbreak.

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The Queen continues to be "busy" while she remains at Windsor Castle during the coronavirus pandemic, a spokeswoman said, following a report she could stay withdrawn from public life for months.

A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said: "The Queen continues to be busy and will follow appropriate advice on engagements."

The Queen, who is at Windsor with the Duke of Edinburgh and a reduced household, has made two televised speeches and one audio address to the nation since the lockdown.

She made a speech to the country on April 5, when she delivered a message of hope, saying if we remained resolute in the face of the outbreak "we will overcome it".

The Queen delivered what was believed to be her first Easter address in April through an audio message, telling the public "by keeping apart we keep others safe".

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And on Friday she gave a poignant message to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, praising the nation's response to the coronavirus outbreak that has filled empty streets with "love and care".

The Queen has witnessed many turbulent times during her reign, but even she confessed of the global Covid-19 pandemic: "While we have faced challenges before, this one is different."

She is said to be in regular contact with Boris Johnson on the state of the pandemic and the Government's response.

While following the guidance on remaining safe, she is still working, conducting a weekly audience with the Prime Minister by phone and receiving her daily red boxes of Government papers, an official said.