The Queen cancels several major events and gets ready to move to Windsor for early Easter break amid coronavirus pandemic

By Zach Harper, with files from Danielle Stacey

As the world continues to react to the coronavirus pandemic, Buckingham Palace has announced the Queen is doing the same. Due to the illness, which continues to be a global health emergency, several events on Her Majesty's calendar are being cancelled or postponed, and she will be moved to Windsor Castle for her Easter break a week earlier than usual.

Audiences at Buckingham Palace this week will go ahead as planned. Her Majesty will receive UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week at the Palace, along with the Commanding Officer of the HMS Queen Elizabeth and the Bishop of Hereford. The Palace says future audiences with the monarch will be "reviewed on an ongoing basis."

That said, the Queen will not attend Maundy Thursday service at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 9. Three garden parties that she hosts annually at Buckingham Palace are cancelled this year, in addition with two others in benefit of the Not Forgotten Association and the National Trust. These are events where large numbers of people were scheduled to attend, the Palace says.

The annual Buckingham Palace Garden Parties hosted by the Queen have been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus. Photo: © Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images

This Thursday (March 19), the Queen will also be moved to Windsor Castle to begin her Easter break. She was to travel there next week, but the health concerns the world is facing have prompted the Palace to alter her schedule as "a sensible precaution."

The Chelsea Flower Show, one of Her Majesty's favourite events every year, has also been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Other members of the British Royal Family have cancelled or postponed events, too. Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla postponed their tour of Cyprus and Jordan, which was to take place later this month, along with the Duke of Cornwall's visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prince Edward also postponed two events he was to attend on March 16.

Elsewhere in Europe, royal families continue to react to the pandemic, too. Karl von Habsburg, ancestral Archduke of Austria, tested positive for the coronavirus and is in self-isolation. Queen Letizia and King Felipe of Spain were tested for the illness last week and were found negative. Their tests came after Letizia met with a Spanish government minister who later came down with COVID-19.

In Denmark, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary pulled their four children out of school in Switzerland and had them brought home due to the pandemic.

As of this writing, the World Health Organization says there have been more than 179,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 159 countries. Canada has had 424 of those cases. The illness has caused more than 7,176 deaths worldwide.

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