the queen shock

The Queen forced to cancel high-profile royal event due to COVID-19 outbreak

The Order of the Garter service was due to take place on 15 June

Sharnaz Shahid

There's been another blow to this year's royal calendar as the annual Order of the Garter service has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, where the ceremony takes place, has been closed until 30 June, which means this year's Order of the Garter Service scheduled for 15 June will not take place.

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The Order of the Garter service has been cancelled this year

The Queen is usually joined by members of the royal family for the annual service. Hundreds of spectators tend to gather on the streets of Windsor to see Garter Knights walking through the grounds of Windsor Castle wearing their blue velvet robes and black velvet hats with white plumes. Membership in the Order is limited and includes the Queen, who is sovereign of the Garter, several senior members of the royal family such as Prince Charles and Prince William, and twenty-four knights chosen in recognition of their work.

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Watch the Queen's speech in full

Knights of the Garter are chosen personally by the sovereign to honour those who have held public office, who have contributed in a particular way to national life or who have served the sovereign personally. These have included Marshal of the RAF, Lord Stirrup, and former Prime Ministers Sir John Major and Sir Winston Churchill.

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Last month, Buckingham Palace confirmed the Queen's birthday celebration, Trooping the Colour (due to take place on 13 June), had also been cancelled. In a statement, a spokesperson said: "In line with Government advice, it has been agreed that The Queen's Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, will not go ahead in its traditional form. A number of other options are being considered, in line with relevant guidance." While the Queen's actual birthday is on 21 April, official celebrations to mark the sovereign's birthday have often been held on another day, particularly when the royal's birth date is not in the summer.

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The Buckingham Palace royal garden parties, the Maundy Service at St George's Chapel in Windsor and the Japanese state visit have already been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The weekly Changing of the Guard at the royal palaces is also not taking place for the foreseeable future, while Princess Beatrice has been forced to cancel her wedding reception at Buckingham Palace gardens.

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