Princess Beatrice will likely postpone her royal wedding because of the coronavirus, royal experts predict

  • Buckingham Palace has started canceling events due to the coronavirus, and royal experts predict it's only a matter of time before Princess Beatrice's royal wedding in May is put on hold.
  • "The last of the now canceled Buckingham Palace garden parties was scheduled for two days before Princess Beatrice's wedding, so it seems increasingly likely that her big day will have to be postponed," Joe Little, managing editor at Majesty magazine, told Insider.
  • If the ceremony does go ahead, it's likely Meghan Markle and Prince Harry won't attend due to Canada's border closure.
  • If the border closure is still in place by the time of the wedding, the couple won't be allowed to return to Vancouver Island from the UK afterwards as they aren't citizens.
  • Buckingham Palace declined to comment when contacted by Insider.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The royal family has announced plans to cancel or postpone events "with large numbers of people" in the coming months due to coronavirus concerns.

Princess Beatrice's royal wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi is due to take place at the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace on May 29, however now it's unclear whether the ceremony will go ahead as scheduled.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on whether any changes will be made to the wedding plans when contacted by Insider.

Palace officials did, however, confirm that three garden parties due to be hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace in May — the same month as the wedding — will be postponed until 2021.

The Queen, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle might not be able to attend

Royal experts think the wedding is likely to be canceled.

"The last of the now canceled Buckingham Palace garden parties was scheduled for two days before Princess Beatrice's wedding, so it seems increasingly likely that her big day will have to be postponed," Joe Little, managing editor at Majesty magazine, told Insider.

Meanwhile, Marlene Koenig, a royal expert for History Extra, told Insider: "I certainly think Princess Beatrice's wedding plans could be changed if the coronavirus continues to spread.

"It all depends on the pace and the flattening of the curve. Edo has family in Italy and both have friends in Europe and in North America ..  [if] no flights, [there's] no way to get to London," she added.

The Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth likely won't attend.
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that Canada will close its borders to anyone who isn't a citizen, a permanent resident, or a US citizen travelling from the US.

If the border closure is still in place by the time of Beatrice's wedding, that means Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would likely not attend as they wouldn't be able to return to their Vancouver Island home afterwards.

The Queen and Prince Philip may also be unable to attend, but for different reasons.

It was recently confirmed that British people over the age of 70 will be asked to self-isolate for up to four months to reduce their risk of contracting the virus. 

While it's unclear whether Her Majesty will follow this guidance, Buckingham Palace confirmed on Tuesday that the monarch will move to Windsor Castle this week — a week earlier than planned — and will likely remain there beyond the Easter period.

"Prince Philip, as far as I know, is still at Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate and thus quite isolated anyway," Little previously told Insider.

The Queen's husband is 98 years oold and has underlying health conditions, for which he was treated over a four-day period in a London hospital in December.

If the wedding goes ahead, new etiquette may be put into place

Koenig added that while Beatrice's wedding isn't large by royal standards (the Chapel Royal can fit between 100 and 150 guests), there are likely even more guests expected to attend the Buckingham Palace reception.

If the wedding and reception go ahead, the palace could request that guests not shake hands with each other and members of the royal family. 

This was implemented at the Commonwealth Day service last week. The Queen and royal family members did not shake hands during the service at the specific request of Westminster Abbey, according to royal correspondent Rebecca English.

Instead, Prince Charles was pictured giving the namaste greeting, and has used this greeting at other engagements since then.

Prince Charles giving the namaste greeting to British TV presenters Ant and Dec.
Getty Images

The Queen, meanwhile, has not used the namaste greeting, but has decided to stop shaking hands with members of the public. 

English wrote on Twitter: "The royal household is still following government advice, which does not ban handshaking, but I understand it's 'currently Her Majesty's personal preference' not to shake hands.

"The Queen turns 94 next month, and the risk of more severe symptoms from the Covid-19 illness is greater for the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions," she added.

"She's pictured here, gloves off but not making body contact, during an audience at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday."

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