As the government continues to introduce new measures to help limit the spread of the coronavirus in the UK, many of us have already begun to drastically change our daily routines. Following the announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night that all non-essential shops and businesses must close, all eyes are on UK firms to see how they will manage and Buckingham Palace is no exception. In what is being described as a "sensible" and "practical" precaution, last week the palace revealed a number of significant changes to the Queen's diary in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Firm announced how Her Majesty the Queen will be kept safe during the coronavirus pandemic, initially relocating to Windsor Castle for Easter one week earlier than originally planned, on March 19, according to the official royal statement. The move came after The Sun reported that a royal aide had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in the days prior. According to Rebecca English, The Daily Mail's royal correspondent, the Queen is in ‘virtual’ self-isolation with a skeleton staff of just eight.
"Not even close family members can see her," she writes. "Even the Duke of York, who lives a stone’s throw away on the Windsor estate, and Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, who live in nearby Bagshot, haven’t seen her for days."
It has not been confirmed if Her Majesty had been in contact with the Buckingham Palace employee before the move, however it is understood that the staffer is recovering and other members of Royal Household staff that they came into contact with have been in self-isolation since.
The Queen will "likely" remain at the Berkshire residence "beyond the Easter period," and following consultation with the Medical Household and government, a number of upcoming public events involving the monarch have been cancelled or postponed. This includes the Spring 2020 State Visit by the Emperor and Empress of Japan, which will be rescheduled at a later date, the annual Maundy Service at St George’s Chapel, and three garden parties due to take place at Buckingham Palace, none of which will go ahead. That also includes Princess Beatrice's wedding to Mapelli Mozzi, as the couple review arrangements for the May 29 ceremony for a third time.
Two additional royal garden parties, hosted in honour of the Not Forgotten Association and the National Trust, have now also been cancelled due to current circumstances. However, previously invited guests will again be asked to attend in 2021.
Announcements regarding various other scheduled events, including Trooping the Colour, and the 75th anniversary of VE Day are expected to be "made in due course," following further advice once the government reviews the current measures in three weeks’ time.
If you or someone you’ve been in close contact with appears to have shown or be showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and coughing, visit the NHS website in the UK to find out the next steps you should take, or visit the CDC website in the U.S. for up-to-date information and resources. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.
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