Updated March 23, 2020, 5 p.m. ET:
Queen Elizabeth II has now officially relocated to Windsor Castle amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and is still reportedly in good health — despite the news that a Buckingham Palace staffer has tested positive for the new coronavirus. The Sun reports that the staffer tested positive last week, before the Queen had moved from the Palace. All individuals who had direct contact with that staffer have been placed in isolation.
The Queen is joined at Windsor Castle by husband Prince Philip.
Better safe than sorry. With COVID-19 (coronavirus) rapidly spreading throughout the UK with more than a thousand confirmed cases, it only makes sense for Queen Elizabeth II to take all the necessary precautions. According to recent reports, the 93-year-old purposely spent the weekend away from Buckingham Palace, a tourist hotspot that could be a breeding ground for germs.
“The Palace hosts a constant stream of visitors including politicians and dignitaries from around the world,” a source told The Sun, adding that the employee count alone at Buckingham Palace is roughly 500 people.
The Queen and Prince Philip reportedly headed 25 miles away to Windsor Castle for the weekend, where it’s more secluded, but plan to return to Buckingham Palace in the coming days. “She is in good health but it was thought best to move her,” the source added. “The Queen has met a lot of people there until recently. But she is weeks away from her 94th birthday and advisers believe it is best to get her out of harm’s way.”
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Earlier this week, Her Majesty The Queen received the Order of St John’s first ever Service Medal in Gold during an audience with Professor Mark Compton, Lord Prior of the Order of St John. The Queen is Sovereign Head of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. The Order of St John is a Royal Order of Chivalry first constituted as such by Royal Charter from Queen Victoria in 1888. The Order today is perhaps most well-known for its role with St John Ambulance and the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem, as well as delivering first aid, healthcare and support services in over 30 countries around the world through St John International.
Currently, there are no confirmed cases at Buckingham Palace, but “no one wants to take any chances,” especially due to The Queen’s age and that the virus is more detrimental to the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions.
The news of The Queen’s quarantine plans comes on the heels of The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall’s announcement that they will be postponing their spring tour, which was set to kick off on March 17. Though the tour may be replaced with other engagements, they will purposely not be held with large groups of people.
The Queen’s upcoming events — including appearances in Cheshire and Camden — have already been rescheduled.