Everything We Know About the Royal Family During the Coronavirus Lockdown in the U.K.
How the members of the royal family are handling self-isolation amid the coronavirus pandemic
From continuing their philanthropic endeavors to supporting NHS workers to maintaining social distancing, the British royal family is adjusting to a new way of life since the U.K. went into lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Even days before Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a nationwide lockdown on March 23, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate Middleton traveled to their respective country homes to self-isolate.
Two days after announcing the new restrictions, Clarence House announced Prince Charles had tested positive for the virus.
Last week, Charles, 71, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 72, celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary together after reuniting following their respective self-isolation periods since Charles’ positive test diagnosis. The royal couple is currently staying in their Birkhall home on the Queen’s Balmoral Estate in the Scottish Highlands.
The Prince of Wales also became the first royal in history to carry out a virtual ceremony. Seated at his Birkhall home, the heir to the throne recently took part in a hospital opening via video link amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The virtual ceremony for a new temporary field hospital in London serving coronavirus patients marks the first time a member of the royal family has performed an opening ceremony remotely. The Nightingale hospital is the first of several centers that will open around Britain to cope with the rising numbers of patients who can’t be cared for in over-stretched hospitals.
Additionally, Charles recorded his first podcast while in self-isolation with the Abbeycast, Westminster Abbey’s new podcast, which launched as the coronavirus forced churches around the world to shut their doors to encourage safe social distancing practices. For Easter Sunday, the prince recorded a reading of John 20: 1-18.
Meanwhile, Charles’ eldest son Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton have been busy working from home, continuing their efforts to support healthcare workers during the coronavirus crisis and, of course, taking care of their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
Recently, the royal couple celebrated Easter together as a family in their Anmer Hall home, which is about 110 miles north of London in Norfolk. William, 37, and Kate, 38, likely celebrated the holiday with a traditional Easter egg hunt with George, 6, Charlotte, 4, and Louis, who will turn 2 on April 23.
Last week, Prince William and Kate conducted their first-ever full royal engagement via video call amid the coronavirus pandemic, chatting with a school in northern England where the kids of essential workers — such as healthcare staff and emergency services members — are being cared for and taught.
Earlier this month, Kate and William carried out a similar engagement, making calls to healthcare workers on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis — including to the colleagues of one of the first doctors to die of the virus.
William and Kate “have been in regular contact with organisations and patronages to understand the issues they are facing during this difficult time,” according to their office.
George, Charlotte and Louis are contributing too. Last month, the trio made an appearance on the couple’s social media pages, enthusiastically clapping for all those helping patients affected by coronavirus as they joined in on a viral hashtag initiative amid the pandemic.
At the end of the month, the royal parents will celebrate their 9th wedding anniversary since they tied the knot on April 29, 2011.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have relocated from their Vancouver Island home to a secluded compound in Los Angeles before the United States’ border with Canada was temporarily closed to nonessential travel on March 21.
A source previously told PEOPLE that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who officially left their royal roles on March 31, have not ventured out of their new Los Angeles home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite leaving royal life, Harry and Meghan are still dedicated to their charity work. Their future organization, which has not yet been launched, will be called Archewell — a name that shares a connection with their son Archie, who turns 1 on May 6.
The confirmation of their new foundation comes after Meghan, 38, and Harry, 35, recently shuttered their Instagram account, @SussexRoyal.
“As we all find the part we are to play in this global shift and changing of habits, we are focusing this new chapter to understand how we can best contribute. While you may not see us here, the work continues,” the couple shared in their final Sussex Royal post on March 30.
Finally, amidst a pandemic, Queen Elizabeth is doing what she does best: keeping calm and carrying on.
After leaving her Buckingham Palace home for Windsor Castle, where she reunited with her husband Prince Philip, 98, since last seeing him in February, days before the lockdown last month, the 93-year-old monarch released a statement addressing the coronavirus pandemic.
“Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe. I am certain we are up to that challenge,” the statement read. “You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part.”
Earlier this month, Queen Elizabeth made rare televised address — her fourth one since she took the throne — that aired in the U.K., expressing her gratitude for the efforts people are taking to stop the spread of the virus and acknowledged the severe challenges being faced by families across the world.
As her message continued, the monarch emphasized the need to band together as a country, united in fortitude and strength.
“Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it,” she said. “I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge. And those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country.”
While Queen Elizabeth typically spends Easter at Windsor Castle, this year’s celebration is full of changes amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Queen marked the holiday differently by sending out a statement to the people of the U.K. and across the Commonwealth instead of greeting well-wishers in person at a church service.
“In church, one light would pass to another, spreading slowly and then more rapidly as more candles are lit. It’s a way of showing how the good news of Christ’s resurrection has been passed on from the first Easter by every generation until now. This year, Easter will be different for many of us but by keeping apart, we keep others safe,” she said.
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“But Easter isn’t canceled, indeed, we need Easter as much as ever. The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose and we can all take heart from this. We know that coronavirus will not overcome us. As dark as death can be — particularly for those suffering with grief — light and life are greater. May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future. I wish everyone of all faiths and denominations a blessed Easter,” the Queen concluded.
On April 21, the British monarch will be ringing in her 94th birthday, two days before the 2nd birthday of her great-grandson Prince Louis. However, the Queen’s annual birthday parade, Trooping the Colour, which is always held in June as the weather is nicer, has been canceled due to concerns of the coronavirus.