Queen Elizabeth Carries On With a Private Engagement at Buckingham Palace Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Buckingham Palace is taking every precaution to keep Queen Elizabeth safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking guidance from health officials, Her Majesty has postponed a number of public engagements over the next few weeks, though she is still receiving guests in private at the palace. With an uncertain future ahead, here’s a look at how the coronavirus is affecting Queen Elizabeth’s schedule.

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth II | Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Buckingham Palace announces changes to Queen Elizabeth’s diary

This week, Buckingham Palace released a statement regarding changes to Queen Elizabeth’s schedule. The announcement was made in light of the COVID-19 outbreaks that are causing cancellations across the globe.

“As a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances, a number of changes are being made to The Queen’s diary,” the statement read. “Audiences due to take place this week at Buckingham Palace will go ahead as planned… Future Audiences will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, in line with the appropriate advice.”

According to Hello Magazine, the statement revealed that several of Queen Elizabeth’s public engagements have been canceled. This includes the royal garden parties, trips to Camden and Cheshire, and the Maundy Service, which was scheduled to take place inside St. George’s Chapel.

Her Majesty has a slew of other engagements lined up in the coming months, and all of those events will be considered in the weeks to come. Most notably, this includes the Trooping the Colour, an upcoming state visit from Japanese officials, and the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

While Queen Elizabeth will not be visiting with members of the public, she is still hosting private engagements at Buckingham Palace.

Queen Elizabeth holds private meeting

Despite the changes to her diary, Queen Elizabeth is still receiving private audiences at the palace. This week, Her Majesty welcomed two high-ranking military officials in Commodore Steven Moorhouse and Captain Angus Essenhigh.

Queen Elizabeth wore a blue dress for the meeting, complete with her standard pearl necklace and diamond brooch. In light of all the health warnings, she did not shake any hands and kept the meeting very brief.

Her Majesty continued these types of meetings until her Easter break became official on March 19. At that time, Queen Elizabeth traveled to Windsor Castle, where she will likely remain for an extended time.

Queen Elizabeth decided to take her break a week early, likely due to growing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. Fans will undoubtedly miss Queen Elizabeth in the coming weeks, but she is not the only royal who has been forced to change their schedule.

Royal family announces several cancellations

Amid rising coronavirus fears, most of the senior members of the royal family have canceled or postponed their royal engagements for the remainder of the month.

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, for instance, have canceled their trip to Jordan and the Republic of Cyprus. Prince Edward has also postponed a reception he was scheduled to hold at St. James’s Palace as part of the International Award Foundation.

The majority of the dinner guests had apparently canceled on the Earl of Wessex, forcing him to re-schedule the event. It is unclear when the royals plan on holding the event, if at all.

Outside of the British monarchy, royals across Europe have taken similar steps. For example, royals in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have also canceled upcoming public events to deal with the outbreak.

Depending on how things progress in the next few weeks, these cancelations could extend through the beginning of summer or beyond.

Will Queen Elizabeth cancel her favorite event?

With the royals taking appropriate measures to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been some speculation that Queen Elizabeth will be forced to cancel one of her favorite events of the year.

According to Express, inside sources claim that the royals are bracing for the worst and that canceling events into the summer is not out of the question to protect Queen Elizabeth’s health.

“The Queen is trying to keep calm and carry on, but at nearly 94 they won’t be taking any chances with her health,” a source shared.

The insider added that the royals are doubtful that Her Majesty’s favorite event, Royal Ascot, will go according to schedule. The high-profile horse race is scheduled for the end of June, and Queen Elizabeth has never missed it throughout her reign.

But with major sporting organizations canceling their events, it is very likely that Royal Ascot will be postponed as well. Queen Elizabeth has not commented on the chances of the Royal Ascot being canceled this year.