The coronavirus has forced British royals to cross out any upcoming events at Buckingham Palace, while the Queen flees to the safety of Windsor Castle.
The UK’s new ‘rule of six’ social distancing restrictions mean no more than six people can gather indoors unless they live together.
A statement by Buckingham Palace indicated larger events, like investitures which formally give elected people a rank, will be put on hold until it is safe to host in-person ceremonies.
“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,”
“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.”
The Queen, 94 and Prince Philip, 99, are understood to be in good health.
The royal couple will be based at Windsor with a reduced number of staff and will follow appropriate advice from their medical household and the government.
Royal love child
In a real-life Princess Diaries moment, the illegitimate child of Belgium’s former monarch, King Albert II, has won her long-running court bid to have her royal rights recognised.
The court ruled that 52-year-old artist, Delphine Boël will be granted the title of Princess of Belgium.
Though rumours had been circulating since 1999, Boël first publicly named the former King as her biological father in a 2005 interview.
King Albert vehemently denied Boël’s claims until the results of a paternity test confirmed the connection in January of this year.
Boël waited to begin legal proceedings until the King had lost his immunity to prosecution which occurred in 2013, when he abdicated in favour of his son, Prince Philippe, citing poor health.
The 86-year-old former ruler must pay €3.4 million ($AUD5.5 million) to cover Boël’s legal costs, and her two children, Josephine and Oscar, will now be able to receive royal titles and hold the family surname, Saxe-Cobourg.
Like her royal half-siblings, Princess Astrid, Prince Laurent and the current King Philippe, Boël will be entitled to an inheritance upon her father’s death, but will not receive a royal endowment.
Boël’s mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, claims her secret affair with Albert lasted from 1966 to 1984 – ending nine years before he became King.
Albert’s unexpected ascension to the throne followed the death of his brother in 1993.
Marc Uyttendaele, Boël’s lawyer, told Belgian reporters she was “delighted” with the ruling that recognised her legitimacy.
“A judicial victory will never replace a father’s love, but it does offer a sense of justice,” Mr Uyttendaele said.
“Many more children who have gone through similar ordeals may be able to find the strength to face them.”
Another secret romance…
The British royals may have more in common with their Belgian counterparts than they realise, after news broke of another secret royal romance.
Flora Alexandra Ogilvy, the granddaughter of the Queen’s cousin, Princess Alexandra, wed her Swedish fiancé Tim Vesterberg.
The private ceremony took place at Chapel Royal at St James Palace on September 26, and marks the second secret royal wedding during the coronavirus lockdown.
Vesterberg, who plays ice hockey professionally, popped the question to Oglivy in early November 2019.
The newlyweds have committed to a larger celebration next year when social distancing restrictions ease.
In July, Princess Beatrice also forwent the traditional, big royal wedding in favour of a secret ceremony with partner Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.
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Timothy and I were married privately at Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace on Saturday 26th September. We are truly overjoyed and look forward to celebrating next year. Photograph by @hugoburnand. Dress by @emiliawickstead
A post shared by Flora Vesterberg née Ogilvy (@floravesterberg) on