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The Queen's cousin tests positive for COVID-19

The Duke of Gloucester will miss the Commonwealth Day service

The Queen's cousin has tested positive for COVID-19.

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The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were due to attend the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on Monday 14th March but have now been forced to miss the event after the 77-year-old's positive test for coronavirus.

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His diagnosis was revealed when Buckingham Palace announced on Friday that Her Majesty will also miss the service following her recovery from Covid.

The Palace revealed that after discussing the arrangements with the Royal Household, the monarch has asked Prince Charles to represent Her Majesty at the Commonwealth Day service. He will be joined by the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Princess Alexandra.

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HELLO! understands that there were concerns about the Queen's comfort when it came to travel arrangements; she has also recently complained of having mobility issues.

It is thought that the monarch will continue with other planned engagements, including in-person audiences, in the week ahead.

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The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester will not attend the Commonwealth Day service

The Queen last missed a Commonwealth Day service – other than when it was not able to take place during the pandemic – nine years ago. She pulled out of attending the event in 2013 while recovering from a nasty bout of gastroenteritis.

Before that, she had not been absent from a Commonwealth Day Observance service for 20 years, the last occasion being when she had flu in 1993.

The decision comes after the 95-year-old marked her return to in-person engagements following her recovery from Covid.

She tested positive for coronavirus on 20 February and a statement from Buckingham Palace revealed she was experiencing "mild cold-like symptoms".

Her Majesty has a string of high-profile in-person events coming up which she is due to attend, including the Duke of Edinburgh's memorial service, also at Westminster Abbey, on 29 March.

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