Queen Elizabeth Postpones Diplomatic Reception in Windsor amid Russia and Ukraine Crisis

The British monarch has taken the advice of the UK's Foreign Secretary to delay the event that was initially scheduled for March 2

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Queen Elizabeth. Photo: Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty

Queen Elizabeth has taken the advice of the UK's Foreign Secretary as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to develop.

The 95-year-old monarch has decided to postpone the diplomatic reception that was initially scheduled to take place on March 2 at Windsor Castle, where the Queen and other members of the Royal Family were set to welcome over 500 members of the diplomatic corps for an annual meeting.

On Saturday, Buckingham Palace announced in a statement that the event had been delayed.

"The Queen has accepted the Foreign Secretary's advice that the Diplomatic Reception at Windsor on Wednesday 2nd March should be postponed," the statement read.

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Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty

Despite the Queen's recent diagnosis with COVID-19, PEOPLE understands the decision was not made due to her health status.

Since the guidance came from the foreign secretary, it is likely due to the situation in Ukraine.

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Russia began an invasion of Ukraine earlier this week, according to the Ukraine government, with forces moving from the north, east and south. The attack is still-evolving, but explosions and airstrikes have been reported, with threats mounting against the capital, Kyiv, a city of 2.8 million people.

President Vladimir Putin's aggression toward Ukraine has been widely condemned by the international community, including with economic sanctions and NATO troops massing in the region. Putin insists Ukraine has historic ties to Russia and he is acting in the interest of so-called "peacekeeping."

"The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces," President Joe Biden said as the invasion appeared to be begin in force this week.

The latest update on the Queen's schedule comes nearly a week after Buckingham Palace announced that the monarch had tested positive for COVID-19. A brief statement was released to inform the public that "Her Majesty is experiencing mild cold-like symptoms but expects to continue light duties at Windsor over the coming week."

Following the diagnosis, the Queen canceled virtual meetings scheduled on Tuesday and Thursday. According to sources who spoke with the Daily Mail, the Queen delayed her engagements because her voice sounded a "little croaky."

While the Queen "understandably still sounds full of cold," the source said that she was "on the mend."

"Family are confident she will make a full recovery," one insider told the outlet.

The news of the monarch contracting COVID-19 also comes after her son, Prince Charles, and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, also tested positive for the virus.

The Russian attack on Ukraine is an evolving story, with information changing quickly. Follow PEOPLE's complete coverage of the war here, including stories from citizens on the ground and ways to help.

Updated by Simon Perry
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