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Prince Edward cancels engagements as the coronavirus pandemic affects travel plans

The British royals are postponing some of their plans

Danielle Stacey

The Earl of Wessex has cancelled some of his upcoming engagements, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Prince Edward, 56, was due to hold a dinner at St James's Palace for the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation on Monday. HELLO! understands a significant number of attendees were unable to attend the dinner and the decision was taken to postpone.

The Queen's youngest son was due to host an Anglo-Swedish Society reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday and this will also be rescheduled. The Swedish government are currently advising against all international travel. Alexander Malmaeus, chairman of the society, told the Press Association: "It was due to a duty of care. The Earl of Wessex and the Anglo-Swedish Society made the decision jointly."

READ: Prince Edward and Sophie's sweetest PDA moments through the years

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Edward and Sophie in Essex last week

Prince Edward celebrated his birthday last week, carrying out visits in Essex with wife Sophie on the day. The Earl looked delighted to receive a giant birthday card and cake from local wellwishers. 

It comes after a number of other royal engagements have been postponed. The Queen was due to visit Cheshire and Camden this month, while the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were scheduled to tour the Republic of Cyprus and Jordan this week, but all of these arrangements have been called off in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

MORE: This candid picture of Sophie Wessex shows how she organises her outfits during royal tours

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were due to attend an Anglo-Netherlands Society centenary celebration on Tuesday at Kensington Palace, alongside Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands. The society said on its website: "We have taken this decision with a heavy heart, but it reflects our collective, precautionary judgement, taking full account of recent developments over the Covid-19 virus, including Government statements."

While public engagements have had to be postponed, it’s business as usual for the British royals behind closed doors as private audiences will still be ongoing. The Queen, 93, spent the weekend in Windsor as part of her usual routine but is thought to have returned to London to resume her duties as planned. 

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