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Queen cancels garden parties and changes diary as ‘sensible precaution’ against coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 14:38 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:42 17 March 2020

The Queen is greeted by wellwishers at a church service at West Newton in Norfolk  Picture: Chris Bishop

The Queen is greeted by wellwishers at a church service at West Newton in Norfolk Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

The Queen is making changes to her diary because of coronavirus, Buckingham Palace said today.

But the 93-year-old monarch is not heading for Sandringham - despite speculation she might see out the crisis at her Nofolk retreat.

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“As a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances, a number of changes are being made to the Queen’s diary,” the palace said.

“Audiences due to take place this week at Buckingham Palace will go ahead as planned. These include receiving the Prime Minister, the commanding officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth and the Bishop of Hereford. Future audiences will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, in line with the appropriate advice.

“Her Majesty will move to Windsor Castle for the Easter period on Thursday, one week earlier than planned. It is likely the Queen will stay there beyond the Easter period.”

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The statement said 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 annual Maundy Service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on April 9 will not go ahead. Three garden parties hosted by The Queen, due to be held at Buckingham Palace in May, will now not take place.

Guests already invited to these parties will be asked to attend in 2021. Two Investitures will be rearranged to later dates.

Further announcements on Trooping the Colour, the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the State Visit by the Emperor and Empress of Japan will be made later.

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