The Queen leaves London for Windsor amid coronavirus pandemic

19 March 2020, 12:09

The Queen was pictured with one of her dogs
The Queen was pictured with one of her dogs. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The Queen has left London for Windsor Castle on Thursday, as she socially distances herself amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Monarch has left Buckingham Palace to go to her Berkshire home a week earlier than she normally would at this time of year, and is expected to remain there beyond the Easter period.

One of her dorgis was spotted sitting next to the 93-year-old head of state.

The 93-year-old monarch carried out official duties the day before her planned departure, however, she held her weekly audience with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the phone.

She had originally planned to meet Mr Johnson face to face as usual. Now, her Wednesday audience with the PM wil take place on the phone, for the foreseeable future.

The Queen, however, did hold two face-to-face audiences at the Palace with Captain Angus Essenhigh and his predecessor Commodore Stephen Moorhouse, in her private audience room.

There were no handshakes, just bows, as they talked on separate seats around the fireplace.

The Queen also had an audience with Louise Tait, who was relinquishing her appointment as the Scottish communications secretary, the Court Circular – the daily record of official royal engagements – showed.

Today (March 19), the Queen was scheduled to be carrying out an away-day of engagements in Cheshire, but the visit to Crewe and Macclesfield was postponed last week.

The Queen, who is understood to be in good health, will be based at Windsor with a reduced number of staff.

She will be following appropriate advice from her medical household and the Government.

This comes after, Mr Johnson has called on everyone in the UK, particularly the over-70s, to avoid all non-essential contact and travel in an attempt at controlling the spread of Covid-19.

The Duke of Edinburgh, 98, has been spending most of his time at Wood Farm, a cottage on the Sandringham estate.

Meanwhile, Princess Beatrice has cancelled her royal wedding reception in the palace gardens in May, but is still planning to wed in a small private ceremony if possible.