The Trooping the Colour parade, the most royal celebration of the year, has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Friday, Buckingham Palace released an update to whether the royal family will proceed with the annual grand parade, held in honor of Queen Elizabeth‘s birthday.
“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,” the statement read. “A number of other options are being considered, in line with relevant guidance.”
Last week, the palace released a statement regarding changes to Queen Elizabeth‘s diary, including canceling all upcoming garden parties and details on whether Trooping the Colour will still take place.
“Further announcements on Trooping the Colour, the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the State Visit by the Emperor and Empress of Japan will be made in due course, in consultation with Government,” the statement read.
The centerpiece of London’s season of festivities usually takes place in early June – and it’s one of the most spectacular royal events of the year.
The grand military parade is a national statement of pageantry to celebrate each British monarch’s official birthday, although Her Majesty’s actual birth date is April 21. Queen Elizabeth will be turning 94 this year.
The royal family typically turns out in full force — with the men decked out in military medals and sashes and the women in fascinators – for the big day, including Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Scene-stealers Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, along with their almost 2-year-old Prince Louis will also be there as the royal family make their grand appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were still expected to attend despite having stepped back from royal duties on March 31.
On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new restrictions that will curb U.K. citizens’ everyday lives in an attempt to tackle the spread of the novel coronavirus, termed COVID-19.
The only exceptions allowed by the government for people to leave their homes would be for exercise once a day, to shop for essential items “as infrequently as possible,” to travel to and from work where “absolutely necessary,” and to fulfill any medical or care needs.
“From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction — you must stay at home,” Johnson said in his address. “Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households.”
It was revealed Queen Elizabeth’s son Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. Both Buckingham Palace and Clarence House released statements that the Queen and Charles, who was last seen together on March 12, remain in “good health.”
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On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who spoke with the Queen via phone on Wednesday, announced he had tested positive for the virus, developing “mild symptoms” and is currently “self-isolating,” but “will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference” in a Twitter video. Johnson joins a slew of government officials around the world who have contracted the virus, though few heads of government have been diagnosed with it.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.
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