The spread of coronavirus and social distancing measures to contain it have led to another major change in royal life. The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is suspended for the forseeable future.
In a short statement on Friday morning, it was announced that ”in line with Government advice to avoid mass gatherings, it has been agreed that the ceremonial Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, St. James’ Palace and Windsor Castle will be postponed until further notice”.
The move will be reviewed on a regular basis and the ceremonial changings will restart as soon as possible.
The announcement came as six of the most famous royal residences in the country prepared to close their doors because of the Covid-19 outbreak. The buildings looked after by Historic Royal Palaces are shut from the evening of Friday March 20th and won’t reopen until the government and health agencies think it’s safe for them to do so.
It means that the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace, the Banqueting House and Hillsborough Castle won’t be welcoming visitors as spring gets under way. The gardens at Hampton Court and Hillsborough remain open for now.
And another famous event with royal connections, the Chelsea Flower Show, is also off. The event, which last year included a garden designed by the Duchess of Cambridge, was due to run between 19th and 23rd May but will now be a virtual display with more details set to be shared soon.