Coronavirus: How the Queen and her family have been affected?

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent
There won't be a Royal Windsor Horse Show this year. (Getty Images)

Alongside the festivals and conferences which have been cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus are the events which are key to the Royal Family’s annual calendar.

Here’s what’s been cancelled or postponed because of Covid-19.

Royal Windsor Horse Show

One of the Queen’s favourite events of the year, the Royal Windsor Horse Show is cancelled.

This was due to be held from 13-17 May. The Queen is often seen driving herself to and around the show.

The annual show is one of the Queen's favourite events. (Getty Images)

In a statement, show organisers said: “Following Government guidelines announced on Monday 16 March, 2020, stating that mass gatherings will not be supported by emergency services, and recent announcements regarding social distancing, it is with enormous regret that we have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel Royal Windsor Horse Show.

“The health of the competitors, tradestand holders, sponsors, officials, volunteers and visiting public is our top priority.

“We would like to thank everyone associated with the event for their continued support, and we are already planning a bumper show in 2021 to compensate for this year’s disappointment.”

Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Lady Louise Windsor attend the Royal Windsor Horse Show 2019. (Getty Images)

The Invictus Games

Prince Harry has had to postpone this year’s Invictus Games in The Hague, Netherlands, due to coronavirus.

In a message shared on Twitter, the prince said: “This was an incredibly hard decision for us to make and I am so grateful for everyone who’s worked so hard over the past few weeks to try and find any alternative to try and carry out these games in a different way in a safe way.

“But this decision was the most sensible and the safest option for all of you and their families and everybody else involved in these games.”

Prince Harry had already announced the UK team for the 2020 games. (Getty Images)

He urged competitors to maintain focus and said the event will be held in 2021.

The games, which were scheduled to begin on 9 May, were set to be the one of the first times the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be out and about after quitting as senior royals.

Harry will maintain his link with the games, which he founded when he was a working royal.

Read more: Prince Harry sends heartfelt message from Canada over 'difficult decision' to cancel 2020 Invictus Games due to coronavirus

Changing of the Guard

Buckingham Palace said there would be no ceremonial of the Changing of the Guard until further notice to prevent mass gatherings.

Photos from recent events outside Buckingham Palace showed there were still a large number gathering outside.

It affects Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace and Windsor Castle.

Crowds continued to gather outside the palace in London. (Getty Images)

VE Day Anniversary

The celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) will now be held in August instead of May.

The early May bank holiday had been moved to 8 May for celebrations to mark the occasion.

But organisers have moved the event to the 15-16 August.

There were to be events to mark 75 years since VE day. (Getty Images)

In a statement online, pageant master Bruno Peek said: “I am afraid that the terrible Coronavirus emergency has caused us to make the difficult decision to cancel the VE Day 75 community celebrations due to take place on the bank holiday weekend of 8th - 10th May.

“It is right and proper that people should be kept safe and healthy. My sincere thanks to everyone who registered their events and were looking forward to celebrating VE Day 75. I know how disappointed you will be that these cannot now go ahead. However, we are still encouraging the solo piping element to continue from a safe and suitable location, such as their homes.

“I am hoping that all the events you have so carefully planned can be moved to the weekend of 15th - 16th August when we will be able to celebrate VE Day and VJ Day, both momentous days in our history.”

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Buckingham Palace garden parties

The Queen had to call off this year’s Buckingham Palace garden parties, which are attended by thousands of people.

Everyone who was invited this year will be automatically invited to 2021’s events instead.

Read more: Coronavirus: Queen cancels Buckingham Palace garden parties - but audiences continue

The Palace is keeping the situation under review when it comes to the party in Scotland, which is held at Holyroodhouse in July.

There are three parties hosted by the palace and two hosted by a charity.

Thousands of people attend the garden parties in Buckingham Palace each summer. (Getty Images)

Princess Beatrice’s wedding reception

Princess Beatrice has had to cancel her wedding reception because of government guidelines on large gatherings as well as advice for older people.

She and her fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi were due to marry on 29 May in the Chapel Royal and then have the reception in the palace gardens.

Beatrice and her fiance might have to postpone their wedding ceremony too. (Getty Images)

They said in a statement they would monitor the situation for what they would do with regard to the ceremony.

However the Church of England has said there should be just five people at weddings - the couple, the officiant and two witnesses.

The state visit of the Japanese Emperor

The Queen was meant to be hosting the Japanese Emperor and Empress this Spring in a state visit.

But the Japanese government indicated it would be postponed, and the palace then confirmed they would rearrange for another time.

Chelsea Flower Show

The Royal Horticultural Society had to cancel the Chelsea Flower Show this year, the first time since the Second World War.

Last year, the Duchess of Cambridge designed a garden for the event which was visited by her family and the Queen.

The Queen attends every year.

Kate showing the Queen around her garden in 2019. (Getty Images)


There are regular investitures at Buckingham Palace and these are awarded either by the Queen, Prince Charles or Prince William.

But they will all be rearranged. The first to be rearranged was one scheduled for 18 March.

Queen Elizabeth II wore gloves to one of her investitures. (Press Association)

The Queen’s engagements

The Queen has postponed several UK engagements and headed to Windsor a week early for Easter Court.

But the annual Maundy Service on 9 April was cancelled as the Church of England suspended all service to prevent mass gatherings.

Her audiences with the prime minister will continue over the phone for the time being.

There were no handshakes at the Queen's last audiences. (Getty Images)

What’s under threat?

Trooping the Colour

The annual spectacle which celebrate the Queen’s official birthday is under constant review from the palace.

The palace said it would make an announcement “in due course” after consulting with the government.

The event sees thousands line up on the Mall in London, to await the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace and to watch the RAF display.

There could be concerns over crowd sizes at Trooping the Colour. (Getty Images)

Dine and Sleep

The Queen hosts a Dine and Sleep event during Easter Court at Windsor Castle, but this is very unlikely to take place.

Famous guests in the past have included director Tim Burton, actress Helena Bonham Carter, Bond star Daniel Craig and actress Rachel Weisz.

Royal Ascot

No word on whether Royal Ascot, scheduled for 16 June, will go ahead as planned.

The Queen has attended every year since she acceded to the throne.

It is one of the highlights of the monarch’s year, and she has owned 22 winners at Ascot, including Estimate, who won the Gold Cup in 2013 – the first time in the race’s 207-year history that it has been won by a reigning monarch.

Royal Ascot is a highlight for the Queen. (Getty Images)

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

The next CHOGM isn’t until the end of June, but there could be a delay if travel is still impacted. It’s to be held in Rwanda.

The leaders of 54 commonwealth countries will be attending.

Prince Charles, as the new head of the Commonwealth, would be expected to go.

Summer opening of Buckingham Palace

The Royal Collections Trust has already announced the closure of Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Mews and The Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh to visitors for the time being.

The Royal Gardens at Highgrove,  the country house of the Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will also be closed until June.

There could be an impact of the summer opening of Buckingham Palace too, which usually happens when the Queen goes to Balmoral between July and September.

Buckingham Palace opens for the summer each year with a different theme. (Getty Images)

Visitors are treated to a themed exhibition each year, with the 2020 display dedicated to royal animals.

There are up to three million visitors a year across all the residents, which helps bring in a total income of more than £48 million every year for the Trust. The RCT maintains and displays the collection of royal artefacts held in trust by the Queen for her heirs and the nation.