Usually untouchable, here’s how the Royal Family is impacted by coronavirus

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, life has been completely different for everyone — even the Royal Family.

From public appearances to royal tours around the world, many of Queen Elizabeth II‘s plans for 2020 were dashed by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The family was first affected by the virus when Prince Charles, the Queen’s eldest son, tested positive in March. He self-isolated in Scotland and has since recovered.

After that, life drastically changed for the Queen and her family. For starters, the Queen and Prince Philip were whisked away to Windsor Castle to isolate, says royal historian Carolyn Harris.

“(They will remain) at Windsor Castle for the foreseeable future, with a small staff who are isolating with them,” Harris said.

Other senior members have also remained outside of London in individual residences, which is “in contrast to their usual routine,” according to Harris.

“Under ordinary circumstances, the Queen would travel back and forth between Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle and spend part of the summer at Balmoral Castle in Scotland,” Harris said.

“(She) is remaining at Windsor Castle, the residence where she spent the Second World War.”

Charles and Camilla, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, are spending the pandemic in Scotland, while Prince William and Kate Middleton are staying at Anmer Hall in Norfolk with their children.

Below are some other ways in which the Royal Family has been affected by the pandemic.

Royal tours and key events

All royal public engagements and royal tours have been suspended at this time.

Prince Charles and Camilla were supposed to tour Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus and Jordan this spring, departing on March 17, but their trip was cancelled.

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Trooping the Colour, the annual parade that marks the Queen’s birthday, was also cancelled, as well as the Order of the Garter ceremony and all summer garden parties scheduled to be hosted at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen also cancelled the special gun salutes that typically occur across the U.K. on her actual birthday, April 21.

She didn’t feel it was appropriate amid the pandemic, a source told CNN.

Princess Beatrice, the Queen’s granddaughter, was also forced to cancel her wedding, originally planned for May 2020. The couple may still hold a small ceremony, according to a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace, but they will consider “government advice” before making any decisions.

Virtual engagements

Since this all began, the Royal Family has made an effort to do virtual engagements, acknowledging the work of health-care workers and other essential workers through phone calls, video calls and taped messages.

“The Royal Family participated in a joint video for International Nurse’s Day on May 12, which included various members … having video calls with health-care professionals around the world,” Harris said.

“Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, (also) congratulated the Duke of Edinburgh Award winners in a video message as award ceremonies have been cancelled due to the pandemic.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_s0yq2lB7d/

🏥 The Duchess of Cambridge has spoken with midwives, health visitors, parents and leading sector experts about the challenges and impact that COVID-19 is having on new and expectant mothers and their families. Watch the full film 🎞️ on The Royal Family YouTube channel of The Duchess’s conversations, held ahead of the UK’s Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week — which aims to create wider awareness of maternal mental health, and signposts support for parents #MaternalMHmatters

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Prince William and Middleton have been on a tour of video calls, speaking with U.K. schoolchildren, playing bingo with seniors at a nursing home and more.

Prince Charles did a virtual plaque unveiling in early April, opening a London field hospital for coronavirus patients in a video where he spoke about his own experience with the virus.

The Queen has also done her fair share of phone calls, speaking with the Commonwealth heads of government — including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Victoria Day and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in April.

Boosting morale

In early April, the queen delivered a rare televised address about the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to boost morale.

She thanked health-care workers and everyone providing essential services as well as all the people staying home to help protect the most vulnerable.

“(She) drew parallels to her first broadcast 80 years ago, when she spoke to the children of the Commonwealth as a young princess during WWII,” Harris said.

“In her 2020 broadcast, the Queen promised better days ahead … in the words of the famous Vera Lynn song from the Second World War, (saying) ‘we will meet again.’”

The Easter holiday presented another opportunity for the Royal Family to reach out to residents of the U.K. and people around the world, said Harris.

“Prince Charles recorded a gospel reading and the Queen gave her first Easter broadcast, speaking of her own faith and the unifying theme of light overcoming darkness in religious traditions around the world.”

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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