Queen Elizabeth has returned to Buckingham Palace for her working week as she carries on with some duties amid growing uncertainty over the coronavirus. In line with her routine schedule, the 93-year-old monarch arrived at the palace this afternoon having spent the weekend at Windsor Castle. The Royal Standard—the flag that flies above the palace when the Queen is in residence—was raised, replacing the Union Jack that is flown when she is away.
Still, even as some things are continuing as usual, the royals are changing their schedules as the coronavirus outbreak worsens. Last week, it was announced that the Queen would postpone upcoming visits to Cheshire and Camden. A spokesperson said that the decision was made “in consultation with the Medical Household and Government” and was taken as "a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in light of the current circumstances." Prince Charles and Camilla also postponed their spring tour to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, and Jordan, which a spokesman said was "owing to the unfolding situation with the Coronavirus pandemic."
Other royal duties such as audiences and investitures are carrying on as normal. Charles and Camilla may carry out engagements in the UK during the time they would have been away on tour. The Queen’s spokesperson said that "events will be reviewed on an ongoing basis in line with the appropriate advice."
So far the UK has not banned mass gatherings or closed schools. However Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed that plans include asking people over 70 to stay at home for up to four months. Although this has not been implemented yet, if it does come into effect then it would apply to the Queen, Prince Philip, Charles, and Camilla, as well as other minor working royals the Duke of Kent, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and Princess Alexandra. At 69, Princess Anne would just avoid the quarantine until she turns 70 in August.
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