London, Oct 3 (IANS) The UK’s Queen Elizabeth II has cancelled all events at Buckingham Palace and the Windsor Castle for the rest of the year amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic which has so far infected 469,764 people and killed 42,358 others in the country.
In a statement published on its website on Friday, the Buckingham Palace said: “In line with current government guidelines, and as a sensible precaution in the current circumstances, there will be no large scale events held at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle for the rest of the year.
“A variety of possibilities were examined to see if it was possible for Investitures to safely take place in line with the guidelines.
“Sadly, due to the large numbers of guests and recipients attending, it was not possible to find a way of safely delivering these events in the current circumstances. Recipients will be contacted directly.
“The Queen’s intention remains to return to Windsor Castle in October and to resume the use of Buckingham Palace during an autumn programme of audiences and engagements, in line with all relevant guidance and advice.”
The Queen is currently at the Sandringham House in Norfolk with her husband and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, and is expected to move to Windsor Castle soon, the Metro newspaper reported.
According to the newspaper, investitures have not been held since the Covid-19 lockdown was announced in late March, although the Queen hosted a special open-air ceremony in July to knight veteran NHS fundraiser Captain Tom Moore.
The diplomatic reception attended by around 1,000 guests every autumn is expected to be cancelled, but one-off events that were planned are likely to be staged in 2021, if government guidelines allow.