The Queen is set to face a major change in her autumn diary. The royal family's official website has revealed that no large-scale events will be held at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle for the rest of the year – notably, receptions and investitures which the Queen usually presides at.
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The 94-year-old monarch is due to return to Windsor Castle this month, her Berkshire residence where she spent lockdown, but will continue to travel to Buckingham Palace for audiences and engagements, all in line with relevant government guidance and advice.
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But one type of event that will be missing from her calendar is investitures. The royal family's website states: "A variety of possibilities were examined to see if it was possible for investitures to safely take place in line with the guidelines.
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"Sadly, due to the large numbers of guests and recipients attending, it was not possible to find a way of safely delivering these events in the current circumstances. Recipients will be contacted directly."
Investitures have not been held since the lockdown was announced in late March, although the Queen hosted a special open-air ceremony in July to knight veteran NHS fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore.
No large-scale events like investitures will be held at Buckingham Palace
They are are exciting days for recipients, who are invited to collect their award insignia – or medal – in person at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle, from the Queen or another member of the royal family. Recipients will have been awarded their medal for an outstanding achievement, personal bravery or services to the UK and British Overseas Territories.
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Mo Farrah during his investiture
Around 30 investitures are held each year, and over sixty recipients attend each ceremony, either in the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace, or in the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle. Celebrity recipients in the past have included Eamonn Holmes, Ant and Dec, Mo Farrah, Benedict Cumberbatch, James Corden, Adele, Kate Winslet, Ed Sheeran, Emma Thompson, Alex Scott, Anthony Joshua and Twiggy.
Her Majesty spent the summer at Balmoral with her husband Prince Philip, although the royals cut short their Scottish break to spend a couple of weeks privately at Sandringham in Norfolk, before the Queen returns to business at Windsor Castle. Normally Her Majesty would spend the autumn at Buckingham Palace, but the pandemic has seen a shift in her working plans.
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