The Royal Family and Coronavirus


As the UK adapts to the Coronavirus outbreak, The Royal Family has had to cancel or postpone engagements to ensure public safety - but they are still working to applaud the work of charity and healthcare workers across the UK. Find out more in our round up of announcements, visits and social media posts of the past months. 


Changes to The Queen's Diary

Changes to The Queen's programme

On 17 March, Buckingham Palace announced that a number of events which The Queen was due to attend would be cancelled or postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak, 'As a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances.'  Read the press release in full

Trooping the Colour, the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the State Visit by the Emperor and Empress of Japan were also subsequently cancelled.

Her Majesty left Buckingham Palace for Windsor Castle earlier than first planned. On arrival at Windsor, she released a message reassuring the people of the UK at such an uncertain time.

At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation's history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one.

The Queen

Her Majesty remains at Windsor where she continues to receive her daily red boxes which contain government and Royal Household papers for her to review and sign. 

The Queen's Audience with the Prime Minister now takes place via telephone. 

Messages of Support

An address by Her Majesty The Queen on the 75th anniversary of VE Day

The Queen makes a special address on the 75th anniversary of VE Day, at the same hour as her father, King George VI, made a radio broadcast to mark the end of war in Europe, exactly 75 years ago.​

The Queen's address to the UK and Commonwealth

In a televised broadcast filmed at Windsor Castle, The Queen thanked key workers who are continuing to provide essential services during the Coronavirus outbreak. Her Majesty also commended those who are staying at home to prevent the spread of the virus, and looked to happier times once the current outbreak has passed.


The Queen's Easter Message

May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future.

In a special audio recording this Easter, The Queen's spoke of light overcoming darkness, and the hope that Easter symbolises. Read her message in full here.

The Prince of Wales shares a message on the Coronavirus Pandemic

As Patron of Age UK, The Prince of Wales shared a message on the coronavirus pandemic and its effect on the older members of the community.​ Watch his message below.

The Duke of Edinburgh thanks key workers

The Duke of Edinburgh has written a message to everyone who is helping to tackle the pandemic and keep essential services running.  Click below to read his full message.

His Royal Highness is affiliated to over 750 organisations, including the scientific, technological research, healthcare and infrastructure sectors, which have responded to the outbreak.

Volunteers' Week

I send my best wishes to all those who give themselves so freely and selflessly in the service of others.

Her Majesty paid tribute to the kindness and generosity of volunteers during Volunteers' Week. 

The Duchess of Cornwall also sent a message to volunteers. 



Teach First

To see teachers and schools going above and beyond for their pupils in response to this pandemic has been, in many instances, quite remarkable.

The Prince of Wales, as Patron of Teach First, shared a message of thanks to all those working for the charity at this time. 

Carers Week 

The Queen and The Princess Royal joined a video call with carers supported by Carers Trust. 

Lockdown has been especially challenging for the UK's seven million carers. 

Listen to the conversation on our Instagram channel. 

Social Media

Social media has helped connect people around the world during the current crisis, and the Royal channels have used it to shine the spotlight on charities supported by Members of The Royal Family.

For the most recent Royal social media updates visit:

Instagram - @theroyalfamily, @clarencehouse and @kensingtonroyal

Twitter - @RoyalFamily, @ClarenceHouse and @KensingtonRoyal

Facebook - @TheBritishMonarchy

Some things to look out for on The Royal Family channels:

  • On Mondays, we share homeschooling resources on @theroyalfamily Instagram channel. 
  • On #CharityTuesdays, we highlight the work of some of the UK's amazing charities. 
  • Every Thursday, we want to thank and celebrate the essential public service workers keeping our nation going. Follow #ThankfulThursday on Twitter to join in the conversation. 

Easter in isolation

Easter is an important celebration for many Christian's around the world. Sadly, The Queen was unable to hold her annual Royal Maundy Thursday this year, or to attend a Sunday Service with her family at St George's Chapel, Windsor.

Royal Maundy Thursday

Every year on Maundy Thursday, The Queen distributes specially-minted money to pensioners from across the UK. These individuals are normally over 70, and are nominated by their local dioceses for their outstanding contributions to their local church and community life. This year the purses were instead blessed at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, some weeks ago before being posted to recipients alongside the letter from Her Majesty. ​

Her Majesty, has written to all 188 recipients of this year's Maundy money, in place of today's Royal Maundy Service. It is our hope that the letters will give recipients a chance to mark the special occasion from their homes instead.​

Royal Easter Biscuits

The Royal pastry chefs were excited to share their 'Spiced Easter Biscuits' recipe with you to enjoy over the Easter weekend. ​Watch the video below for the full method, and find the full recipe here.

Royal Chocolate Cupcakes, for The Queen's Birthday

Happy birthday to Her Majesty! To celebrate The Queen's birthday we shared a chocolate cupcake recipe from The Royal Pastry Chefs. Read the full recipe and method here:

View this post on Instagram

🎂🧁🎈Happy birthday to Her Majesty! To celebrate The Queen's birthday we are sharing a chocolate cupcake recipe from The Royal Pastry Chefs. If you or a loved one are celebrating a special occasion during isolation why not treat yourself to some #RoyalBakes? Remember to share your creations with us! Ingredients for the cake sponges - (serves approximately 15) 15g vinegar 300ml milk 50ml vegetable oil 60g butter (melted and cool) 2 eggs 5ml of vanilla essence 250g of self-raising flour 75 of cocoa powder 300g caster sugar 10g bicarbonate of soda 100g white chocolate chips cupcake cases Ingredients for the buttercream topping: 90g of high percentage dark chocolate 100g butter 125g icing sugar Option to also use Royal icing, instead of buttercream: Royal icing available pre made in shops Add food colouring to create different colours Cake sponge method: -Preheat the oven to 150 C -Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl -Whisk the eggs in a separate jug, with the vanilla essence, melted butter, oil, milk and vinegar -Slowly add the wet mixture into the dry mixture, little by little -Ensure the batter is smooth with no lumps -Finally add the chocolate chips (alternatives could be nuts, dried fruit) -Lay the cupcake cases onto a tray -Use a metal spoon to equally divide the mixture into the cases -Bake for around 15-18 minutes, take out of the oven when golden and springy on touch -Leave to cool Buttercream icing method: -Cream the sugar and butter together, until light and creamy -Add in the warm melted chocolate -If you have a piping bag to hand, pipe the icing on the top of cakes for decoration (otherwise gently use a teaspoon or small spatula to ice) Royal icing method: -If decorating with royal icing, roll the icing out and cut into circular disks -Lay the disc over the cupcake and mould to required shape We hope you enjoy! #RoyalBakes 🧁

A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) on


Cancelled Events

An announcement regarding Royal events at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

For practical reasons in the current circumstances the Garden Party due to be held at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on 1st July will not take place. Guests due to attend will be invited to a Garden Party in 2021. The investiture planned at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on 30th June has been postponed.

Events of this nature often involve considerable planning for attendees. Mindful of current government advice, we have taken this decision to eliminate any uncertainty for guests due to attend.

Royal Events in June

For practical reasons in the current circumstances all investitures due to be held at Buckingham Palace in June have been postponed. The annual Garter service at Windsor Castle has been cancelled.

Events of this nature often involve considerable planning for attendees. Mindful of current government advice, we have taken this decision to eliminate any uncertainty for guests due to attend.

An Announcement Regarding The Changing of the Guard

In line with Government advice to avoid mass gatherings, it has been agreed that the ceremonial of the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace and Windsor Castle will be postponed until further notice.

Advice will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, with a view to restarting when appropriate.

Postponement of the State Visit by the Emperor and Empress of Japan​

After consultation with Her Majesty’s Government and the Government of Japan, Her Majesty The Queen has agreed that, in the current circumstances, the planned State Visit to the United Kingdom in Spring 2020 by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan should be postponed.

The State Visit will be rescheduled at a later date. 

Announcement regarding changes to The Queen's diary​

As a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances, a number of changes are being made to The Queen’s diary.

Her Majesty is currently at Windsor Castle for the Easter period, arriving one week earlier than planned. It is likely The Queen will stay there beyond the Easter period. 

In consultation with the Medical Household and Government, a number of public events with large numbers of people due to have been attended by The Queen, and other Members of the Royal Family, in the coming months will be cancelled or postponed.

The annual Maundy Service at St George’s Chapel on 9th April did not go ahead. Three Garden Parties hosted by The Queen, due to be held at Buckingham Palace in May, will now not take place. Guests already invited to these Garden Parties will be asked to attend in 2021. Two additional Garden Parties given for the Not Forgotten Association and the National Trust will also not take place. Investitures will be rearranged to later dates.


Nightingale Hospitals

Members of The Royal Family have opened Nightingale Hospitals throughout the country. These new facilities have been constructed in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. 

The opening of the Nightingale Hospital, London

On Friday 3 April, The Prince of Wales officially opened the first NHS Nightingale Hospital, constructed in under a fortnight in London's Excel Centre. The Prince opened the new facility via video call from his home in Scotland. 

The opening of the NHS Nightingale Hospital, Birmingham 

On April 16th, The Duke of Cambridge opened Birmingham's Nightingale Hospital, after it was constructed in just eight days in response to the #COVID19 outbreak. 


The opening of The Dragon's Heart Hospital in Cardiff

On Monday April 21st, The Prince of Wales sent a video message to mark the opening of Ysbyty Calon Y Ddraig, the Dragon’s Heart Hospital in Cardiff. The temporary facility is based in the city’s Principality Stadium, which usually hosts rugby, and will provide capacity for up to 2,000 additional beds to support the NHS in Wales during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The opening of the NHS Nightingale Hospital, Bristol

The 28th of April saw the opening of the NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol. At the opening, The Earl of Wessex said:

“Today, we once again owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone working in the health service - whatever your role - whether you are tending those suffering from COVID-19 or looking after all the other patients who still need your care, or keeping our hospitals running.”

The temporary facility was completed in just three weeks, and is based at the University of the West of England’s Frenchay campus. The hospital will provide up to 300 intensive care beds for coronavirus patients, if local services need them.

A message to staff at the NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital, Glasgow

The Princess Royal has sent a message of support to all those involved in constructing the new Glasgow hospital - the new hospital was built in only 20 days and has over 1,000 beds.

Her Royal Highness also praised the 'devotion' of NHS staff across Scotland, and said that 'although we would all hope that it doesn’t need to be used, we can all be very grateful that it exists.'

The opening of NHS Nightingale North East, Sunderland

The Countess of Wessex sent a message to NHS staff, the Armed Forces, local government teams and other contributors, whose combined efforts have created the new NHS Nightingale Hospital North East in Sunderland, which Her Royal Highness formally opened.
The hospital has capacity to provide 460 more beds if they are needed in the weeks and months ahead. Staff - including nurses, physiotherapists and doctors - will be deployed from NHS trusts across the North East and North Cumbria, with teams working together to provide the best possible care, as part of the national coronavirus response.

The opening of NHS Nightingale Jersey

The Earl of Wessex opened Jersey General Hospital's Nightingale Wing via video link at a ceremony on Monday May 11th.  The new Wing will provide the extra beds needed to treat Islanders if there is an increase in cases of Coronavirus. The Lieutenant Governor of Jersey, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, officially opened the new Wing on His Royal Highness’ behalf. The Wing will act as a field hospital, with patients assessed at the General Hospital first.





Garden Parties in isolation


Every year, The Queen welcomes over 30,000 guests to Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
The Garden Parties are an important part of Her Majesty’s diary, when she can meet people who have made a positive impact in their community.

This year's Garden Parties have been cancelled across all Royal Residences, instead guests invited this year will be welcomed in 2021. To mark the occasion, Palace Chefs are delighted to share some of their favourite Royal Recipes.

Victoria Sponge Cake:

Click the link below for the full recipe:

Fruit Scones:

Click the link below for the full recipe:


Recognising volunteers

In the first week in  June, The Queen and members of the Royal Family joined together to say 'thank you' to volunteers. 

Her Majesty said: 

It is inspiring to reflect on the many thousands of people, who through their acts of generosity and kindness, have achieved so much for the greater good.

Read more about the Royal Family's activity during Volunteers' Week.