As the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the world, Buckingham Palace has decided to make some key changes to Queen Elizabeth II’s schedule for the coming months.
The palace announced in a statement on the British royal family’s website on Tuesday, March 17, that the adjustments were made “as a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances.” Several events, including a meeting with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, will go on as scheduled, while others, such as five garden parties, have been canceled.
The statement noted that further announcements “will be made in due course, in consultation with Government,” in regard to the status of the Trooping the Colour parade, the 75th anniversary celebration of Victory in Europe Day and a state visit by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan.
The most noteworthy change to the 93-year-old queen’s schedule is that she will move to Windsor Castle on Thursday, March 19, to begin celebrating Easter one week earlier than planned.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019, and the disease has since spread to more than 160 countries. There have been major outbreaks in China, Europe, the United States, Iran and South Korea, with over 7,100 deaths reported worldwide.
A source told Us Weekly on Monday that the queen’s grandson Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, are “observing the quarantine” with their 10-month-old son, Archie, in Canada, where the couple have been living since stepping back from royal duties in January. “They are following the rules put forth by the World Health Organization,” the source added.
A number of royal family members were also spotted avoiding handshakes at the Commonwealth Service in London earlier this month.
Scroll down to see the five changes that have been made to Elizabeth’s diary.