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The Queen cancels Buckingham Palace garden parties for 2021

The events are a major part of the royal family's summer calendar

Buckingham Palace has announced that garden parties normally staged at the Queen's London residence and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh have been cancelled this year.

It comes after the government's decision to plunge England into a third lockdown in January.

A palace spokesman said: "The decision has been taken that garden parties will not take place in 2021."

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WATCH: The Queen mingles with guests at 2019 Buckingham Palace garden party

The royal garden parties are one of the many highlights of the Queen's summer calendar and it will be the second time in her 69-year reign that these public events have been cancelled.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak in 2020, a number of large-scale royal events did not take place, including Trooping the Colour to mark the monarch's 94th birthday. Instead, a scaled-down version of the parade took place at Windsor Castle instead.

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The Queen, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie in 2019

Events to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the Japanese State Visit were also cancelled amid the ongoing pandemic.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are currently residing at Windsor Castle, where they lived for much of 2020, except to travel to their Scottish estate, Balmoral, for their summer break as tradition last August.

The couple also briefly spent some time on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk last September.

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William and Kate at a Buckingham Palace garden party in 2019

Traditionally, Her Majesty welcomes over 30,000 guests to spend a relaxed summer afternoon in the beautiful gardens of Buckingham Palace or the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

These public events allow the Queen to speak to a broad range of people from all walks of life, all of whom have made a positive impact in their community.

The monarch is also joined by members of their family at the garden parties, including the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Queen's grandchildren – Prince William and his wife Kate, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

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