Queen Elizabeth II has reportedly made the decision to remain at her home in Windsor Castle “indefinitely” due to the threat of the novel coronavirus, leaving all of her current engagements on hold for the foreseeable future. It remains to be seen how the queen’s absence will change the dynamics of the royal family, particularly as it follows the departure the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
According to The Sunday Times, the retreat to Windsor marks the longest absence that the queen has taken from public life over the course of her 68-year reign. Reports are claiming that events scheduled well into autumn are on hold, with rumors claiming that the monarch’s state visit from South Africa is “up in the air.”
Events scheduled for the summer, such as royal garden parties, the Order of Garter service, and the Trooping of the Colour — which many Sussex fans had hoped would produce a visit from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle — have been canceled.
In addition, Buckingham Palace will remained closed throughout the summer, the first time this has happened in 27 years. Though the queen is not in residence in London, insiders have claimed that it is yet another precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which has infected close to 220,000 in the U.K. and claimed nearly 32,000 deaths.
Royal reporter Andrew Morton claimed that the monarch would not return to duties until a vaccine for the disease could be found, even if the discovery took “years,” per The Daily Mail.
However, though Queen Elizabeth may not be attending public engagements, it does not mean that she is not keeping busy. According to Metro UK, she still engages in a weekly audience with Prime Minister Boris Johnson — who himself recently recovered from the disease — in addition to receiving government papers daily in her trademark red box.
“The Queen continues to be busy and will follow appropriate advice on engagements,” a spokesperson from Buckingham Palace said on the matter.
In addition, the monarch recently made two major televised speeches that touched on the COVID-19 crisis. One focused specifically on the disease, while one delivered just days ago discussed the pandemic while honoring the 75th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe over the Nazi forces.
“It may seem hard that we cannot mark this special anniversary as we wish,” the queen said in her message.
“Instead, we remember from our homes and our doorsteps. But our streets are not empty; they are filled with the love and the care that we have for each other,” she poignantly concluded.
In other royal news, it was reported earlier this weekend that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are currently residing in Los Angeles in Tyler Perry’s mansion, as was previously reported by The Inquisitr.