We all welcomed the new decade and 2020 with open arms with lots of dreams and hopes. Seeing our Royal inspirations, doing what they do best, was one of those hopes. On March 09th when the Duchess of Cambridge made a dazzling appearance at Place2Be Gala dinner none of us thought that it would be the last time we will be seeing lovely Catherine for the next weeks or months.
Queen Letizia of Spain was looking absolutely elegant and professionally strong in a navy blazer suit when she met with the French President and First Lady with King Felipe on March 12. Letizia is one of the most hard-working Royal Ladies around the world whose diary is almost never empty except the summer break.
And now just after 10 days, it’s sort of royal drought and the culprit is Corona Virus that has almost 122 countries around the world in its clutches. The novel virus that is traditionally part of the cold and cough virus family is actually way deadlier than the normal flu we usually get in the winters.
Both King Felipe and Queen Letizia went under the Coronavirus test that later on came back negative but Letizia went under precautionary medical watch. The couple had to go through the test as Queen Letizia met with equality minister Irene Montero during APRAMP meeting, who has since been diagnosed with coronavirus.
The UK Royals were greeting the guests and dignitaries with an Indian-style Namaste at the Commonwealth Day service while Prince William was reportedly feeling awkward as there were no handshakes.
The virus has impacted almost all the upcoming royal events. The Queen’s annual birthday celebrations, Trooping the Colour, could be cancelled for the first time in 65 years due to coronavirus fears. Felipe and Letizia were supposed to pay a state visit to the United States in April. Buckingham Palace recently released a statement saying,
As a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances, a number of changes are being made to The Queen’s diary.
Audiences due to take place this week at Buckingham Palace will go ahead as planned. These include receiving the Prime Minister, the Commanding Officer of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and the Bishop of Hereford. Future Audiences will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, in line with the appropriate advice.
Her Majesty will move to Windsor Castle for the Easter period on Thursday 19th March, one week earlier than planned. It is likely The Queen will stay there beyond the Easter period.
In consultation with the Medical Household and Government, a number of public events with large numbers of people due to have been attended by The Queen, and other Members of the Royal Family, in the coming months will be cancelled or postponed.
The annual Maundy Service at St George’s Chapel on 9th April will not go ahead. Three Garden Parties hosted by The Queen, due to be held at Buckingham Palace in May, will now not take place. Guests already invited to these Garden Parties will be asked to attend in 2021. Two additional Garden Parties given for the Not Forgotten Association and the National Trust will also not take place. Investitures will be rearranged to later dates.
Further announcements on Trooping the Colour, the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the State Visit by the Emperor and Empress of Japan will be made in due course, in consultation with Government.
Update: Queen Elizabeth II has moved to Windsor Castle for the Easter week earlier 1 week than planned. Prince Philip arrived from Sandringham to join the Queen. The couple will be staying at Windsor Castle until further notice. Palace released this message from Queen today.
The State Visit of the Emperor and Empress of Japan to the UK has been postponed. The state visit that was scheduled for Spring 2020 will be rescheduled at a later date. As expected there are some changes to the wedding of Princess Beatrice to Mr Mapelli Mozzi. The couple will be reviewing Government instructions and is planning to get married in a private ceremony but the planned Buckingham Palace reception has been postponed.
So what next – To be honest, nobody knows the answer. Duchess of Cambridge is at her country residence Anmer Hall in Norfolk with Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis as she was recently spotted doing grocery shopping with kids in Sainsbury. I believe William is also with family as Kensington Palace has nothing scheduled for the royal couple and has not indicated how the royal diaries of Cambridges are going to be for the upcoming few weeks. King Felipe and Queen Letizia are staying in with her daughters with no engagement scheduled and it is expected to continue into the foreseeable future.
While we wait for the world to come back to its normality, we all should do whatever we can to help. Stay inside if you can, to stop being a precious carrier of this deadly virus, wash your hands properly and do not touch your face if you are going outside. There is no need to go out and do panic shopping while leaving vulnerable people in more danger. If you are working from home or just self-isolating your self for precaution then you are doing more good than you can ever know.
In this difficult period, we need to be more compassionate and come out as a single community. It’s time to show that we are humans first. I salute to every single person working hard in healthcare sector taking care of others while putting own life on risk and leaving everything behind so that we can stay safe. We must appreciate and respect them and do whatever we can to support them and those who are in need. I would like to emphasise on one thing – Please do not share inaccurate information.
Hope to see all of you healthy and happy on the other side of this pandemic very soon! Leaving you with this lovely shot of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Pakistan visit as a reminder of lovely times.