The Queen to take longest break from public life in 68-year reign due to coronavirus

Her Majesty is likely to stay at Windsor Castle for the foreseeable future (Getty Images)
Her Majesty is likely to stay at Windsor Castle for the foreseeable future (Getty Images)

On Friday, the Queen was praised for a televised VE Day speech to honour those who died during World War Two.

However, Her Majesty, 94, is likely to withdraw from public life for months due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Sunday Times.

The paper have reported that the break in official royal duties is almost certain to be the longest absence of her 68-year reign, as grandson Prince William and Kate Middleton step up.

She is also expected to remain at Windsor Castle - where she is currently in lockdown with Prince Philip who turns 99 next month - for the foreseeable future.

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The Queen’s schedule of autumn engagements, including a state visit from South Africa in October, are on hold.

They have also reported that Buckingham Palace will be closed this summer to the public for the first time in 27 years, with events like Trooping the Colour next month already called off.

A royal source told them: “The Queen won’t do anything which goes against the advice of people in her [age] category and she’s going to take all the appropriate advice.

“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.

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“If there is advice in the coming months that it’s fine for her to come back to London, she may do that, but until that time, she’d want to be seen to be being responsible in her actions for the nation.”

The Queen’s last public engagement was the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9th, and her speech to the nation after lockdown garnered 24 million viewers.

Normally, the monarch would return from Windsor Castle - where she spends Easter - to Buckingham Palace in May, before travelling on to Balmoral Castle in July for the summer.

In her VE Day anniversary speech earlier this week, she told the nation: “Today it may seem hard that we cannot mark this special anniversary as we would wish.

Read more: Prince Harry says ‘life has dramatically changed’ in Invictus Games speech

“Instead we remember from our homes and our doorsteps. But our streets are not empty. They are filled with the love and the care that we have for each other.

"When I look at our country today and see what we are willing to do to protect and support one another, I say with pride, that we are still a nation those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen would recognise and admire."

It comes as her grandson Prince Harry acknowledged in a new speech that “life has changed dramatically for all of us”.

The Duke of Sussex, 35, made the comment in a video shared on Twitter to mark what would have been the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games at The Hague in the Netherlands, which has been postponed until 2021 due to the pandemic.