royal-events

Royal events we're missing because of the coronavirus lockdown

The Queen's diary is usually packed over the summer

Danielle Stacey

The Queen's calendar is usually jam-packed with high-profile events over spring and summer, but in light of the coronavirus pandemic, a number of these occasions have been cancelled. While alternative solutions are being looked at for some, these are the major royal events we'll miss seeing this year. 

READ: Watch Duchess Kate and the Countess of Wessex surprise nurses on special day

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WATCH: Prince Louis waves during Trooping the Colour

Trooping the Colour

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Louis, William and Kate at Trooping the Colour

On Friday 27 March, Buckingham Palace issued a statement, saying: "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 date has not been in the summer.

Her Majesty, who will turn 94 this year, is joined by members of her extended family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during the fly-past. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's youngest child, Prince Louis, made his debut at Trooping the Colour last year and was spotted waving enthusiastically at the crowds. 

In previous years, we've also been treated to some mischievous antics from Peter and Autumn Phillips' daughter, Savannah, who pretended to conduct the orchestra and put her hand over her cousin Prince George's mouth when he was singing!

Royal garden parties

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William and Kate at a garden party last year

Over the course of each year the Queen welcomes over 30,000 guests to her annual summer garden parties at Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Her Majesty gets the chance to mingle and chat with attendees from all walks of life and is usually accompanied by members of her family.  Last year, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne, Prince Harry and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie all attended one of the parties. 

MORE: 14 fabulous photos of the Queen and her family enjoying themselves at royal garden parties

Royal Ascot

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William and Kate at Royal Ascot 2019

It's one of the highlights of the royal family's summer calendar and we've seen some of the most stylish looks from the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Sussex and the Countess of Wessex for the races. The Queen usually attends all five days of the event, with punters putting on bets as to which colour hat she will wear. Instead, this year's meeting will take place between 16 and 20 June behind closed doors without any racegoers or royals present.

Maundy Service

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The Queen and Princess Eugenie

The Maundy Service at St George's Chapel didn't take place in April this year. The Queen commemorates Maundy by offering 'alms' to retired pensioners, who have been recommended by clergy and ministers of all denominations, in recognition of their service to the church and to the local community. At last's service, Her Majesty was accompanied by her granddaughter, Princess Eugenie. The monarch  and sent their gifts by post instead. 

Japanese State Visit

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The Queen with the Trumps during the state visit 2019

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: "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." State visits usually include a banquet, which means that the royals adhere to a white tie dress code with ceremonial medals, evening gowns and tiaras. The Queen hosted US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a state visit last summer. 

Invictus Games The Hague 2020

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Harry and Meghan at the Invictus Games Toronto 2017

The Duke of Sussex's foundation sadly has had to postpone the Invictus Games in The Hague, which were set to take place in May, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Harry sent a heartfelt video message to the competitors, saying that the cancellation was an "incredibly difficult decision," and urging them: "Please take care of yourselves, but do what you do best which is reaching out to other people, be it those that still wear the uniform, used to wear the uniform or just those people in your community who you know may be suffering or may be vulnerable during this period."

The Duke also recorded a special video message for competitors on what would have been the day of the opening ceremony, telling them the plans for the 2021 event will be released soon and wishing them all well. 

Harry and Meghan made their public debut at the Invictus Games in Toronto in 2017 and attended the event in Sydney, during their royal tour of Australia in 2018. 

MORE: Where the royals are self-isolating during the coronavirus lockdown

Royal Windsor Horse Show 

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Harry with the Queen at the Royal Windsor Horse Show 2019

It's one of the highlights of the Queen's calendar but organisers have confirmed that the equestrian show will not be going ahead as planned. Her Majesty, who first learned how to ride aged three, hasn't missed the show since its launch in 1943. The Queen's grandson Harry joined her at the Royal Windsor Horse Show last year, just days after becoming a father to baby Archie.

Chelsea Flower Show

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The Queen with William and Kate at the Chelsea Flower Show 2019

While it's technically not a royal event, the Queen is the patron of the Royal Horticultural Society and usually attends the opening day of the Chelsea Flower Show every year. The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex have also attended the spectacular London show in the past. Last year, the Duchess of Cambridge co-designed the Back to Nature garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. The green-fingered royal showed the Queen around the site on its opening day at the show and delighted royal fans, when she and husband Prince William released footage of their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, playing in the space. The Royal Horticultural Society confirmed they will host free content including garden tours on its website this year instead. 

MORE: How the royals are staying fit during the coronavirus lockdown

Wimbledon

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Kate, Meghan and Pippa at Wimbledon 2019

Organisers have called off this summer's tennis tournament, which was set to take place from 29 June to 12 July. The Duchess of Cambridge is patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and has been a guest in the royal box for the past eight consecutive years. She also enjoyed a girls' day out with the Duchess of Sussex in 2018 and last year, along with her sister, Pippa Middleton. 

Braemar Gathering

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The Queen, Camilla and Charles at last year's Games

This year's Highland Games were due to take place on 5 September – when the Queen is in Balmoral for her summer break. A statement from the organisers said: "Whilst we know the decision will be disappointing for many, we feel it is the right one to protect the safety of the local community, competitors, spectators and officials many of whom travel from around the world to Braemar." We've seen sweet images of Her Majesty, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall huddled under tartan blankets as they enjoy the outdoor competitions. 

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