The 94-year-old sovereign, who had previously canceled her travel plans in March and relocated to Windsor Castle prior to the Easter holiday, is now canceling all upcoming royal duties and travel plans, according to a report by The Times of London. This is expected to be the queen’s longest absence from public duties in her nearly 67-year reign.
The queen’s decision doesn’t come as a surprise given the U.K. is on lockdown because of the virus. Several events the queen was expected to attend, including Trooping the Colour (the queen’s birthday celebration) and Royal Ascot, have also been canceled due to safety concerns.
Queen Elizabeth was scheduled to travel to South Africa in October, but the report indicates the trip is now “up in the air.”
While self-isolating at Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth gave a rare TV address on April 6 on the pandemic, during which she recalled the very first broadcast she made with her sister Princess Margaret during World War II.
“We, as children, spoke from here at Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes and sent away for their own safety,” she said. “Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones. But now, as then, we know deep down that it is the right thing to do.”
The British royal family has experienced several changes to their daily lives due to the pandemic. It was revealed on March 25 that Princes Charles contracted COVID-19 and was self-isolating at his home with the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles, at Balmoral in Scotland. The 71-year-old prince later released a statement on April 1 announcing he was “on the other side of the illness.”
Other members of the royal family have also been self-isolating since March. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, are self-isolating at the queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England with their three children, while the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, have moved to Los Angeles with their son Archie.
Princess Beatrice, for another, canceled her wedding scheduled for May 29.
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