The ceremonial Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is among the latest events and attractions being cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.
The palace said the spectacle, which also takes place at St James’s Palace in London and Windsor Castle, is being postponed until further notice “in line with Government advice to avoid mass gatherings”.
The Royal Gardens at Highgrove, the country house of the Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, are also closing until at least the end of June.
A statement on the Highgrove website said the decision was taken following Government guidance and was “in the best interest of our guests”.
And this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo, which was due to take place from 17 to 19 July at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, has also been cancelled.
The organisers said the decision had “not been taken lightly”, adding that the event relied on the support of “medical professionals, military security teams and our emergency services, many of whom are delivering a fundamental contribution to fighting this crisis. We believe delivery of our event would distract them from this. ”
Friday’s announcements came a day after the Queen was reunited with the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle after leaving London as she socially distances herself amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Philip, 98, was flown by helicopter from the Sandringham estate where he has been staying in his secluded Wood Farm cottage.
The advanced age of both the Queen, who is the nation’s longest reigning monarch, and Philip mean they are more at risk of complications if they catch the Covid-19 illness.
The royal couple will be based at Windsor with a reduced number of staff as a precaution, and will be following the advice of their Medical Household and the Government.
Princess Beatrice has cancelled her royal wedding reception in the palace gardens in May but is still planning to wed in a small private ceremony if possible.
The Queen and Philip are not the only members of the royal family affected by the Government’s advice on social distancing.
The Prince of Wales is 71 and the Duchess of Cornwall is 72.
A source added of Charles: “The prince is operating as close to business as usual as possible at the moment.”
The prince, who was once described by Camilla as “not one for chilling”, is known for his busy work schedule.
His Clarence House team are working mostly remotely, having set up a virtual, digital office.