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UK Queen to Leave Public Duties for Longest Period in Her 68-Year Reign Due to Pandemic, Aide Says

© AFP 2022 / ANDREW PARSONSBritain's Queen Elizabeth II attends The Queen's Birthday Party concert on the occasion of Her Majesty's 92nd birthday at the Royal Albert Hall in London on April 21, 2018.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II attends The Queen's Birthday Party concert on the occasion of Her Majesty's 92nd birthday at the Royal Albert Hall in London on April 21, 2018. - Sputnik International
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Elizabeth II has been isolating at Windsor since mid-March and reportedly won’t leave until the COVID-19 pandemic withers away.

Her Majesty, who is 94, will remain at Windsor Castle indefinitely as the coronavirus crisis persists in the UK, The Sunday Times reported, citing royal aides. The arrangement means that an expected months-long absence from her usual - offline - duties will be the longest in the 68 years of her reign.

Buckingham Palace will be closed to the public this summer for what is thought to be the first time in 27 years - since 1993, to be exact, when it first opened for the general audience as an exhibition venue. Events such as the Trooping the Colour, garden parties, etc., have already been cancelled.

Her diary of engagements into the autumn has also been put on hold, with plans for a state visit from South Africa in October in limbo.

“There are discussions about what we could and couldn’t do come October. We haven’t cancelled a load of engagements, but nothing is going into Her Majesty’s diary at the moment”, one royal aide told the British publication.

The source went on to specify that if advice comes for her to halt her confinement at Windsor, she may listen to it and return to London, “but until that time, she’d want to be seen to be being responsible in her actions for the nation”.

“I don’t think we’ll see her again for a while”, another source weighed in, insisting that “nobody will risk it”, especially given the threat of a second spike later in the year.

The Queen has been isolating at Windsor, in line with strict government anti-coronavirus regulations, since 19 March together with the Duke of Edinburgh, who turns 99 next month.

She has been teleworking for the past two months and is in regular contact with the prime minister and world leaders by phone or video. Recently, she gave two public addresses to the nation in a bid to boost Brits’ morale amid the raging health crisis - on 5 April and on VE-Day, when she urged the nation to “never give up and despair”.

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