Buckingham Palace has confirmed that a number of changes are being made to the Queen's diary amid the coronavirus pandemic. Among the events cancelled or postponed are the royal garden parties and the Maundy Service at St George's Chapel. Her Majesty will also move to Windsor Castle for her Easter break one week earlier than planned.
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It added that while audiences at Buckingham Palace this week will go ahead, future events will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, while announcements on the Queen's upcoming birthday parade, known as Trooping the Colour, the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the Japanese State Visit will be made in due course in line with the government.
The statement read: "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.
Royal garden parties have been cancelled
"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.
"The annual Maundy Service at St George’s Chapel on 9th April will not go ahead. Three Garden Parties hosted by The Queen, due to be held at Buckingham Palace in May, will now not take place. Guests already invited to these Garden Parties will be asked to attend in 2021. Two additional Garden Parties given for the Not Forgotten Association and the National Trust will also not take place. Investitures will be rearranged to later dates."
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Further announcements about Trooping the Colour are to come
The announcement from Buckingham Palace comes after the royals were forced to postpone a series of public engagements, including the Queen's scheduled visits to Cheshire and Camden this month. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were due to start their tour of the Republic of Cyprus and Jordan on Tuesday 17 March, but that has been cancelled.
The Earl of Wessex also postponed two of his events on Monday. Prince Edward, 56, was due to hold a dinner at St James's Palace for the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation on Monday. HELLO! understands a significant number of attendees were unable to attend the dinner and the decision was taken to postpone.
The Queen's youngest son was due to host an Anglo-Swedish Society reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday and this will also be rescheduled. The Swedish government are currently advising against all international travel. Alexander Malmaeus, chairman of the society, told the Press Association: "It was due to a duty of care. The Earl of Wessex and the Anglo-Swedish Society made the decision jointly."
Royal families in Europe have also been taking action in light of the coronavirus pandemic, with the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish among the households cancelling forthcoming public engagements.
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