Queen Elizabeth to leave London, cancels garden parties

Queen Elizabeth II has cancelled garden parties at London’s Buckingham Palace and will leave the palace on Thursday for Windsor Castle as a “sensible precaution” amid Britain’s coronavirus outbreak, the royal family said on Tuesday.

Several meetings at Buckingham Palace this week, including the queen’s audience with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, will go ahead as planned, it said.

“Her Majesty will move to Windsor Castle for the Easter period on Thursday, March 19, one week earlier than planned,” the palace said.

“It is likely the queen will stay there beyond the Easter period.”

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It said the changes to the 93-year-old monarch’s plans were made “as a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances.”

Other events expected to be attended by large numbers of people in the coming months will be cancelled or postponed, including five garden parties scheduled from May at Buckingham Palace.

It said further announcements will be made “in consultation with government” on the annual Trooping the Colour, held in June to mark the queen’s official birthday; the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day; and a planned state visit by the Japanese emperor.

The palace announced on Friday that the queen had postponed this week’s planned visits to north-western England and north London.

The queen’s son and heir, 71-year-old Prince Charles, also postponed planned spring visits to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus and Jordan.


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