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At the age of 93, stoic Queen Elizabeth has been keeping calm and carrying on.
Despite cancellations announced on Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic — including all the Queen’s upcoming palace garden parties — amid the coronavirus pandemic, she has been continuing with audiences with ambassadors and U.K. Prime Minster Boris Johnson.
But that is all coming to an end later this week. After meeting with Johnson and the commander of a new British aircraft carrier and the Bishop of Hereford, she is moving to Windsor Castle on Thursday, where she is usually based on weekends and was already set to stay for the annual Easter break.
On Tuesday, her office at Buckingham Palace announced she will make the trip 30 miles west of London on and likely stay there after the Easter period. The celebration falls on April 12, and some royal experts believe that means she will stay well into May at the earliest.
It is a sensible move. Amid the warnings from the U.K. government that people should avoid gatherings with friends and family, as well as large gatherings and crowded places, such as pubs, clubs and theaters, it was becoming inevitable that the springtime celebrations with the Queen at their center would be shelved.
“Guests already invited to these garden parties will be asked to attend in 2021,” the palace reassured people in a statement.
And she won’t hand out the traditional Maundy money on the Thursday before Easter.
Two other garden parties, most recently hosted by other members of the Royal Family, have also been canceled and investitures, often carried out on her behalf by Prince William or Prince Charles and Princess Anne, are also being postponed.
The palace said, “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 Queen’s entire court usually relocates from the palace to Windsor for several weeks in spring, so the Queen will be well-served. But it seems that they will be staying outside of London longer than is normal.
The palace advisers are keeping Trooping the Colour — the official birthday party for the Queen, where she is joined by other members of the family as they watch parades and a flypast from the palace balcony — under review too. For now that is still scheduled to take place on June 13.
The latest moves also raise questions over the Queen’s beloved horse racing event, Royal Ascot, which is set for the week after Trooping the Colour. And the Windsor Horse Show from May 13 is also likely in doubt.
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Plans surrounding the scheduled celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe, which is May 8, and the upcoming state visit by the Emperor and Empress of Japan are also being considered by the Queen and government planners.
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