Covid19: Queen withdraws from the public stage indefinitely

Wednesday 13th May 2020 08:41 EDT

Even as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the phase-wise withdrawal of lockdown restriction in place due to the pandemic, the Queen Elizabeth II will continue to stay in isolation for the unforeseeable future.

The Queen and Prince Philip have been staying at Windsor Castle right now and are being served by a small staff strength. The Queen goes about her routine of checking the voluminous government documents.

In routine affair, the Queen spends the late spring/early summer at Buckingham Palace hosting a series of garden parties before heading to Balmoral Castle in Scotland for the end of summer.

The pandemic onslaught has already led to cancellation of events such as the Trooping of Colour in June, which is attended by the Queen. So, there is virtually no need for the Queen to return to her usual schedule.

With both the Queen and Prince Philip above 90 years of age, it is a safe bet for the couple to stay at the Windsor Castle. The Prince Philip is all set to celebrate his 99th birthday with 94-year-old queen next month.

The Queen Elizabeth isn’t realistically expected to be seen in publicly until the fall, marking it as the longest absence in her 68 year reign.

According to a report in The Times, the queen will break with tradition, with no engagements or movements until the threat from the coronavirus clears.

The isolation will be a personal blow to the Queen who has always said that a queen has to be seen to be believed. This has been vindicated in her two public addresses after the advent of lockdown imposed by Johnson administration. Around 24 million people had watched her speech.

The Queen’s last public engagement was the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9 and after that she has been in isolation since March 19. Her absence from public view has not come in the way of her functioning though. She has been in regular touch with the prime minister and world leaders by phone and video calls.

The Time quoted a royal source as saying, “The Queen won’t do anything which goes against the advice of people in her (age) category and she’s going to take all the appropriate advice. There are discussions about what we could and couldn’t do come October. We haven’t cancelled a load of engagements, but nothing is going into her diary at the moment.”

Pretty conscious, the Queen doesn’t want to be seen as someone who is ‘irresponsible’. The source added that if she gets an advice that it is safe for her to come back to the capital she may follow suit. But till such time, she wants to be seen as someone responsible in her acts before the nation.

Sources said that it was unlikely the Queen will be seen for a while now since there is also fear of the second wave of the pandemic later this year.

As a normal schedule, the Buckingham Palace opens annually to the public every summer since 1993 but with the spread of pandemic, it is all set to be rescheduled.

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