Queen retires to Windsor, reviews Japan state visit

Several large public events due to have been attended by the queen and other royals in the coming months will also be postponed or cancelled.

FILE: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II delivers the Queen's Speech on the The Sovereign's Throne in the House of Lords chamber, during the State Opening of Parliament in the Houses of Parliament in London on 19 December 2019. Picture: AFP

LONDON - Queen Elizabeth II will retire to Windsor Castle a week early and a state visit by the emperor and empress of Japan is being reviewed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Buckingham Palace said Tuesday.

The 93-year-old monarch has already postponed some public engagements, and further changes are now being made to her diary in the wake of stricter measures introduced by the British government.

"Her Majesty will move to Windsor Castle for the Easter period on Thursday 19th March, one week earlier than planned. It is likely The Queen will stay there beyond the Easter period," the palace said in a statement.

Audiences planned this week with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and others will go ahead, but those in future will be kept under review.

Several large public events due to have been attended by the queen and other royals in the coming months will also be postponed or cancelled.

This includes the annual Maundy Service at St George's Chapel, and five royal garden parties.

"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," it said.

The Japan state visit had been planned for this spring.