Queen may never return to royal duties as she won’t be safe in public ‘for years’ due to coronavirus


The monarch, 94, is in lockdown at Windsor Castle to stop her from catching the killer virus.

The Queen might never return to royal duties if coronavirus restrictions render public engagements unsafe for years

The monarch, 94, wants to keep working but courtiers are already preparing to withdraw her from frontline duties until at least after the summer

She would be restricted to video addresses during what could be her longest absence from duties in her 68-year reign

Courtiers are already preparing to keep her indoors until at least after the summer — the longest absence from duties in her 68-year reign.

It is understood that Her Majesty does not want slow down or stop working. But she will not go against any official advice designed to protect people in her age category.

The Queen is receiving updates from Parliament through her red boxes and in a weekly call with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

But courtiers are discussing the problems of her returning to frontline work and normal engagements amid the risk of catching the virus.

As such, they are preparing for several more months of royal lockdown.

And royal biographer Andrew Morton fears it is unlikely the Queen will be allowed to return to her normal public duties at all.

He reckons Brits are only ever likely to see her on TV or video links — such as with her recent stirring addresses.

Trooping the Colour, summer garden parties and a state visit from South Africa have all been cancelled — emptying her diary until the autumn.


Her granddaughter Princess Beatrice’s wedding has also been hit — as have annual social events loved by Her Majesty, including the Chelsea Flower Show, the Derby and Royal Ascot.

And the Queen’s birthday honours list due next month is set to be postponed.

Mr Morton, 66, said: “It’s terribly sad but I can’t see how the Queen can resume her usual job.

“The Covid-19 virus isn’t going away soon and will be with us for months, if not years.

“It would be far too risky for the Queen to start meeting people on a regular basis.

“She has always loved getting out and meeting people but she can’t take the risk.

“How can she carry out investitures, meet ambassadors, do walkabouts and visit places without meeting people at close range?

The Queen and Prince Philip are locked down in what one of their top aides has called ‘HMS Bubble’

Prince Charles could also be limited from royal duties however ‘he has had the virus and probably has immunity now’

“If she gets the bug, it could be fatal and would put Prince Philip at risk.

“Prince Charles is, of course, over 70 himself but he has had the virus and probably has immunity now.

“The Queen’s speech last month was brilliant and it brought the country together.

“To quote Churchill, it was her finest hour, but from now on we are maybe only going to be seeing her on video links.

“The Queen’s address on Friday was inspirational because she served during the war and she lifted spirits because she has authority from her lifetime of experiences.”

Morton, whose 1992 book Diana: Her True Story blew the lid off the Prince and Princess of Wales’s failed marriage, added: “We will have a Zoom monarchy, she will be Her Majesty the screen.

“The touchy-feely way of doing things created by Princess Diana has been stopped in its tracks.

“We will be back to the days of white gloves and distancing, which makes the royals more remote.”

The Queen has been in lockdown with Prince Philip, 98, at Windsor since March 19. She would normally return to Buckingham Palace this month, but lockdown means that it is not safe to do so.

The Palace will be closed to tourists for the summer for what is believed to be the first time in 27 years.

Extraordinary safety precautions were taken to prevent contact with anyone outside her inner circle when Her Majesty recorded her Covid-19 address and VE Day speech.

Two weeks ago, we revealed the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are locked down in what one of their top aides has called “HMS Bubble”.

Master of the Household Tony Johnstone-Burt said 22 key members of the staff were staying at the Castle and not living with their families to protect the Queen from the virus.

The ex-naval officer likened the operation to a long deployment at sea where sailors are separated from loved ones for months on end.

The Queen’s last official engagements were held at Buckingham Palace on March 18.

They involved the Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth and the Bishop of Hereford.

A week earlier, her visits to Cheshire and Camden, North London, were postponed due to the virus.

Senior royals, including Charles and Camilla, William and Kate and Edward and Sophie, have done all their duties over the phone and video calls.

Tonight, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “The Queen continues to be busy and will follow appropriate advice on engagements.”

Many royal events have already been postponed, including the Chelsea Flower Show, the Derby and Royal Ascot and the Queen’s birthday honours list