Investiture ceremonies and other “large-scale events” planned for Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle this year have been postponed, royal officials have said.
Buckingham Palace said the decision had been taken in line with “current government guidelines, and as a sensible precaution in the current circumstances”.
The Queen still intends to use the palace for audiences and engagements but rising coronavirus cases and the “rule of six” restrictions on gatherings indoors appear to have prompted the move.
Buckingham Palace said on its website: “In line with current government guidelines, and as a sensible precaution in the current circumstances, there will be no large scale events held at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle for the rest of the year.
“A variety of possibilities were examined to see if it was possible for Investitures to safely take place in line with the guidelines.
“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.
“The Queen’s intention remains to return to Windsor Castle in October and to resume the use of Buckingham Palace during an Autumn programme of Audiences and engagements, in line with all relevant guidance and advice.”
The head of state is at Sandringham with the Duke of Edinburgh and is expected to move to Windsor Castle in the coming weeks.
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.