The Countess of Wessex returns to work after illness last week

By Heather Cichowski, with files from Jenni McKnight and Zachary Harper

The Countess of Wessex has returned to work after cancelling royal engagements due to illness last week.

As part of her role as patron of the Defence Medical Welfare Service, Countess Sophie held an afternoon meeting on March 17 at St. James's Palace in London, according to the Court Circular, the official record of past royal engagements for the British royals.

The Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS), also known as the St. John and Red Cross Defence Medical Welfare Service, is a UK charity that has a mission to provide high-quality medical welfare services to veterans and those who have served their country, and it has done so for 75 years.

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The meeting came after Sophie was forced to cancel engagements last week because of illness. According to HELLO! UK, the countess was scheduled to carry out three engagements in Yorkshire on March 11, including visiting The Old Fire Station, a community hub in Leeds, but had to postpone them.

"We are sorry to announce that HRH the Countess of Wessex is unwell and has had to postpone her planned visit to our community hub this afternoon. We wish her a speedy recovery," The Old Fire Station wrote on Twitter. "(And don't worry, its not covid19)

"We look forward to welcoming HRH in the future."

We're happy Sophie is feeling better and she was able to keep the March 17 engagement.

On March 9, Sophie and her husband Prince Edward stepped out for the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey. They joined Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan, Prince William, Duchess Kate, Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla and the Queen. The event marked the Sussexes' last official joint engagement as senior royals.

Edward and Sophie looked elegant at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London. Photo: © Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, royals from around the world have been cancelling events and altering their schedules.

On March 13, Clarence House announced Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla's tour of Jordan and Cyprus and Charles's tour of Bosnia and Herzegovina had been postponed due to COVID-19. It was originally set to take place this month.

Her Majesty has cancelled several major events. Three garden parties she traditionally hosts annually at Buckingham Palace have been cancelled this year, in addition to two others in benefit of the Not Forgotten Association and the National Trust.

The monarch will also be moved to Windsor Castle for her Easter break a week earlier than usual. But, she will not attend Maundy Thursday service at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 9.

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi have cancelled their wedding reception due to coronavirus concerns. It was scheduled to take place May 29 at Buckingham Palace after the ceremony. Their nuptials are still scheduled to take place that same day at the Chapel Royal, but Buckingham Palace says the couple are considering having a small, private wedding involving just their family and closest friends due to COVID-19 concerns over large groups of people.

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Princess Anne is another royal who has continued with engagements. The Queen's daughter, who is one of the hardest-working members of the Royal Family, stepped out on March 16 to the Addington Equestrian Centre in England. Her visit was part of her role as the Vice-Patron of the equine charity, The British Horse Society (BHS).

Princess Anne, who has a passion for horses, toured the Addington Equestrian Centre on March 16. Photo: © Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images

At the event, the Princess Royal watched coaching demonstrations, spoke with equestrian and trainer Jennie Loriston-Clarke, and she gave a speech about the importance of having qualified coaches in the equestrian industry.

Royals fans also saw Anne along with several other royals at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, the annual horse race, which took place at the Cheltenham Racecourse in Gloucestershire from March 10-13.

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