THE Queen was today pictured driving to Windsor Castle with her pet corgi – a week earlier than planned amid the coronavirus crisis.
The 93-year-old monarch is will stay in Windsor past Easter as health authorities work to contain the spread of the deadly bug.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Her Majesty held one of her final engagements in London yesterday – shunning gloves but bowing instead of shaking hands with naval offices at Buckingham Palace.
She also held her last face-to-face weekly audience with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Confirming the Queen's change of schedule earlier this week, Buckingham Palace announced: "Her Majesty will move to Windsor Castle for the Easter period on Thursday 19th March, one week earlier than planned.
"It is likely The Queen will stay there beyond the Easter period."
And Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are still "desperately hoping" they will be able to visit in the summer to see the Queen despite the crisis.
The Sussexes, who are currently in Canada, were due to head to Windsor Castle later this year with baby Archie – who the Queen has rarely seen.
Several royal events will be postponed including all garden parties at the palace and the annual Maundy Service at St George’s Chapel on 9th April will not go ahead.
More than 30,000 people were set to gather at the palace for the traditional parties in May. Two more garden parties at organised by charities and hosted the palace have also been canned.
Every guest who won a ticket through the ballot will instead be invited to the 2021 garden parties.
All major future engagements including Trooping the Colour and VE Day celebrations are under review.
Meanwhile, Buckingham Palace today announced the Emperor and Empress of Japan had postponed their Spring visit to the UK.
CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – BE IN THE KNOW
Get the latest coronavirus news, facts and figures from around the world – plus essential advice for you and your family.
To receive our Covid-19 newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.
To follow us on Facebook, simply 'Like' our Coronavirus page.
It comes as 20,000 army troops are ready to join the fight against coronavirus as "superspreader city" London faces a total lockdown as early as Friday.
The armed forces are poised to step in to take over hotels and run them as hospitals as the UK's death rate spirals and Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to deploy sweeping shutdown measures.
The death toll from coronavirus has now reached 108 in the UK with confirmed cases up to 2,226.
Yesterday Boris Johnson announced schools will close from Friday with A-Level and GCSE exams cancelled.
London's transport lockdown will start from today with 40 Tube stations closed until further notice and the rest of the capital's transport network to be scaled back dramatically.
Further powers are also being looked at to keep people at home in the coming days and troops will be deployed in a bid to help the nation handle the escalating crisis.
So far 953 people have been infected in London – more than 40 per cent of all confirmed cases in the country.
Mr Johnson warned that "everything is on the table" as urgent talks were held to decide if Britain will follow Italy, France and Spain in ordering people to stay indoors for up to 14 days.
He also called for "ruthless" enforcement of social distancing measures and added: "Let's be in no doubt these are very important choices we are making in our daily lives.
"The more strictly, more ruthlessly, we can enforce upon ourselves and our families the advice we are getting, then the better we will be able to protect our NHS."
Source: Read Full Article