The Queen has cancelled all royal garden parties in London and Edinburgh for the whole of this year, Buckingham Palace announced today.
The decision was taken after royal officials faced difficulties planning the events amid new coronavirus rules and lockdowns being announced in recent days.
With deadlines approaching for committing to their go-ahead, it wasn’t possible to plan how they would be feasible taking into account Covid-19 precautions.
A cyclist rides on the empty Mall with Buckingham Palace in the background in London today
The Queen in a photograph for her annual Christmas broadcast in Windsor Castle last month
The Queen arrives for a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London on May 31, 2018
Guests attend a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace in London on May 21, 2019
Garden parties are a way of honouring and thanking members of the public who have gone above and beyond in serving charities and their local communities.
They are also a means to thank members of the military and diplomatic communities. There are normally four of the parties each year.
The garden parties are normally staged at Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh have been cancelled this year.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘The decision has been taken that garden parties will not take place in 2021.’