'Out of harm's way': Queen to leave Buckingham Palace amid virus outbreak

Kristine Tarbert
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
The Queen has cancelled her upcoming travel plans. Photo: Getty

As countries around the world implement more and more guidelines to stem the spread of the coronavirus, the Queen has reportedly left Buckingham Palace.

According to a royal source, the 93-year-old has been taken to Windsor Castle and plans are in plans to quarantine her and Prince Philip, 98, at Sandringham if the outbreak worsens.

While she is in good health, staff thought it was best relocate her now, The Sun reports.

“The Queen has met a lot of people there until recently. But she is weeks away from her 94th birthday and advisers believe it is best to get her out of harm’s way,” the source said.

It comes as palace had already announced the Queen was cancelling her upcoming travel plans, with other members of the royal family also postponing royal engagements.

The Queen is taking 'sensible precautions'. Photo: Getty

The monarch was due to travel to Cheshire and Camden later this month, but due to the ongoing spread of the virus, has postponed the trips.

“As a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances, changes are being made to The Queen’s diary commitments in the coming weeks,” a press release from Buckingham Palace read.

“In consultation with the Medical Household and Government, Her Majesty’s forthcoming visits to Cheshire and Camden will be rescheduled. Audiences will continue as usual. Other events will be reviewed on an ongoing basis in line with the appropriate advice.”

Prince Charles and Camilla cancel royal tour

At the same time Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles have also announced the cancellation of their upcoming spring tour.

The trip, scheduled from 17th to 25th March, would have included overseas visits to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus and Jordan.

Clarence House issued a similar statement, saying: “Owing to the unfolding situation with the coronavirus pandemic, the British government has asked Their Royal Highnesses to postpone their spring tour to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus and Jordan.”

Charles and Camilla are also staying put. Photo: Getty

New royal protocol amid virus outbreak

The royals had last week already implemented some major changes to royal protocol, and ceased greeting their guests and subjects with handshakes.

The Queen did away with the age-old British greeting when meeting visitors at Buckingham Palace this week, after last week donning gloves to greet her guests as a precaution.

Prince Charles also debuted his new greeting - a traditional ‘namaste’ complete with clasped hands.

Of course, the uncertainty surrounding the global coronavirus pandemic also sees Prince William and Kate’s trip to Australia up in the air.

The Queen decides not to shake hands. Photo: Getty

Danish royals cancel engagements

The British royal family isn’t the first to stop official engagements.

Last week the Danish royals had also decided to cancel all official appearances, with Princess Mary and her kids returning home to “stand with the Danes”.

In a statement released by the palace, it was revealed that Aussie-born Princess Mary, her four children and her husband would all return from Switzerland, where they’ve been enjoying a 12-week school stay. 

"In light of the worsening situation in Denmark in connection with the handling of the spread of COVID-19, the Crown Prince couple has decided that the family will leave home from Switzerland,” the statement read. 

“The Crown Prince couple find it most natural to return home and stand with the Danes in a time that requires a lot of everyone and where there is a shared responsibility for looking after each other."

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