A Buckingham Palace royal aide has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus, while the 93-year-old Queen was still living there.
It’s not known how close the aide would have come to Queen Elizabeth, however the monarch is thought to be in good health, after she was moved to Windsor Castle.
“The worker tested positive before the Queen left for Windsor. But the Palace has 500 members of staff so, like any workplace, it’s not inconceivable it would be affected in some stage,” a source told The Sun.
The staff member is believed to be recovering well from COVID-19 and other aides who worked closely with them have put themselves in self-isolation.
The Queen is thought to have left Buckingham Palace last week and was taken to Windsor Castle.
Plans are in place to quarantine her and Prince Philip, 98, at Sandringham if the outbreak worsens.
While she was in good health, staff thought it was best to relocate her then, The Sun reported.
“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 the palace had already announced the Queen was cancelling her upcoming travel plans, with other members of the royal family also postponing royal engagements.
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.”
Last week, the Queen implored people to ‘come together to work as one’, and insisted that everyone has a ‘vitally important’ role to play in limiting the spread of the illness.
In particular, she urged people as much as possible to stay at home to protect vulnerable groups, including elderly people and those who are immunocompromised.
“As Philip and I arrive at Windsor today, we know that many individuals and families across the United Kingdom, and around the world, are entering a period of great concern and uncertainty,” she said in the statement.
She highlighted the need to take measures ‘for the greater good’, and to make the advised changes to daily life – including social distancing – in order to protect those most at risk.
"We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them,” she said.
She drew on the United Kingdom’s history of overcoming adversity, saying the country’s history was ‘forged by people and communities coming together to work as one’.
The monarch went on to thank frontline workers, calling on all people to rise to the challenge facing us.
"We are enormously thankful for the expertise and commitment of our scientists, medical practitioners and emergency and public services,” she said. “But now more than any time in our recent past, we all have a vitally important part to play as individuals - today and in the coming days, weeks and months.”
And despite being vulnerable to the illness herself, Queen Elizabeth assured people the royal family ‘stand ready to play [their] part’.
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