Queen, 93, returns to Buckingham Palace in central London after weekend in Windsor despite coronavirus outbreak
- The Queen, 93, has returned to Buckingham Palace today to carry on her duties
- It comes as number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK increase to 1,543
- People over age of 70 will be asked to self-isolate ‘as and when moment is right’
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
The Queen has returned to Buckingham Palace today to carry on her duties despite the coronavirus outbreak.
The Royal Standard is flying above the monarch’s official central London residence – the working headquarters of the Queen – in defiance of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
Her Majesty, 93, travelled back to the Palace following her usual weekend break at Windsor Castle in Berkshire.
It comes after the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK increased to 1,543, with 36 deaths, and ministers warned that people over the age of 70 will be asked to self-isolate for months.
The Queen (pictured in Windsor yesterday) has returned to Buckingham Palace today to carry on her duties despite the coronavirus outbreak
The Royal Standard is flying above the monarch’s official central London residence Buckingham Palace (pictured) – in defiance of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis
The Queen had no official public engagements on Monday, but is continuing to deal with her official papers in her famous red boxes, as well as other business of state.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘Events will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, acting on the appropriate advice.’
The Queen is still, at present, due to carry out audiences in the future, but has postponed an away day to Cheshire this week and a later visit to Camden.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that people aged over 70 will be asked in the coming weeks to self-isolate for up to four months in order to protect them from the Covid-19 illness.
This would affect, among the working senior royals, the monarch, heir to the throne the Prince of Wales, 71, and the 72-year-old Duchess of Cornwall.
Queen Elizabeth II attends the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey last week
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attend the Commonwealth Day reception on March 9
But ministers were today accused of issuing ‘conflicting’ advice to older people over the need to ‘self-isolate’ during a coronavirus outbreak.
Charities warned that many pensioners would be confused about what they were being asked to do after claims over the weekend that they should stay at home for up to four months.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tried to clarify the situation this morning by saying there is no problem with vulnerable individuals going out to ‘walk the dog’.
Meanwhile, the Scottish authorities have insisted there is no problem with the elderly having visitors, as long as they are not displaying symptoms.
The Queen, who has carried out investitures since 1952, wore gloves for the first time at a Buckingham Palace investiture as she handed an MBE to D-Day veteran Harry Billinge earlier this month
The government is expected to announce imminently that those over the age of 70 should ‘self-isolate’.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday that the length of time such people will need to ‘stay self-isolated, stay at home to protect themselves is a very big ask’.
But Mr Shapps seemed to strike a different tone today. He said it was ‘quite likely’ that the rule could be in place for months, but added: ‘It is the case that people will be able to go out and walk the dog. It’s about being sensible but not mixing in crowds.’
Scotland’s national clinical director, Professor Jason Leitch, confirmed that the elderly will be asked to reduce social contact, but family visits from people without symptoms will not be banned.
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