As royal events keep being canceled, the Queen will reschedule the upcoming visit to another date

By Simon Perry
March 19, 2020 02:58 PM

Royal events affected by the coronavirus pandemic keep tumbling from the diary.

Queen Elizabeth’s plan to host the Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan later this spring has been put on hold, the palace confirmed Thursday. It will now take place at a later date.

The news comes as the Queen, 93, prepared to leave her London residence of Buckingham Palace for Windsor Castle, 30 miles west, where she will be based through to the Easter holiday and beyond.

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In a simple statement, Buckingham Palace said, “After consultation with Her Majesty’s Government and the Government of Japan, Her Majesty The Queen has agreed that, in the current circumstances, the planned State Visit to the United Kingdom in Spring 2020 by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan should be postponed.”

“The State Visit will be rescheduled at a later date.”

Queen Elizabeth and Emperor Naruhito
Patrick van Katwijk/Getty; Rodrigo Reyes Marin - Pool/Getty
Queen Elizabeth
PA Images

On Wednesday, it emerged that the Queen’s weekly audience with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was held over the telephone rather than in person at the palace. Their meeting was set to be her last engagement before departing for Windsor.

The palace has also canceled all garden parties and  investitures.

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There are question marks over the celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of the Second World War victory in Europe on May 8 and Princess Beatrice’s wedding on May 29 could be postponed too.

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