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The Queen to take an extended absence from public duties amid coronavirus outbreak

The monarch will not return to official duties for months, according to a report

Fiona Ward

The Queen is set to withdraw from her public duties for an extended period of time amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to a new report from the Sunday Times. The publication stated on Sunday that it's expected to be "the longest absence from official duties in her 68-year reign." Her Majesty is set to stay at Windsor Castle for the foreseeable future, and the newspaper also states that her diary of engagements is "on hold" as far as the autumn. 

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The Queen will not return to official duties for months

The health crisis has seen a number of the Queen's favourite events cancelled this summer - from Trooping the Colour in June to the Order of the Garter service and her annual garden parties. Buckingham Palace will also remain closed to the public this summer - and while Her Majesty usually travels to Balmoral for her annual break in July, she is expected to instead remain at Windsor Castle.

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While she won't be making an appearance in person for some time, the monarch has already made two landmark addresses to the nation during the COVID-19 lockdown, with her second marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday. 

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WATCH: The Queen's moving VE Day speech

Speaking from Windsor Castle, where she has been isolating since March, Her Majesty drew parallels between the wartime generation and those now facing the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic. And she spoke of her pride in people’s determination to overcome it.

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Planned commemorations had been drastically scaled back because of the outbreak, but the Queen said: "Our streets are not empty; they are filled with the love and the care that we have for each other." She also reflected on the sacrifice of those who died fighting for peace and the "joyous celebrations" of VE Day, which she witnessed both from the balcony of Buckingham Palace and from the streets below, where she walked unrecognised with her sister Princess Margaret on 8 May 1945.

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Charles and Camilla led a moment of remembrance on Friday

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall also commemorated the day by leading the nation with a moment of silence, and other members of the royal family took part in a series of video calls with Second World War veterans and those who served on the home front. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spoke to residents and staff at a Royal British Legion Care Home in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex earlier this week. 

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