Queen Elizabeth Cancels Virtual Royal Duties Amid COVID-19 Battle

Queen Elizabeth II has canceled her planned virtual engagements as she continues to battle COVID-19. Buckingham Palace announced Sunday that the 95-year-old monarch, who recently marked the 70th anniversary of her Accession to the throne, tested positive for the virus, the palace then confirming in a Tuesday update that Her Majesty will no longer partake in her scheduled engagements.

In a statement, the palace shared that the Queen "is still experiencing mild cold like symptoms" and has since "decided not to undertake her planned virtual engagements today." While the Queen has crossed those pre-planned events off of her schedule, she "will continue with light duties." Those light duties, according to CNN, likely refer to her head of state responsibilities, including reading and answering documents and letters. The palace added that the Queen's further engagements over the coming week will be "decided in due course."

News of the Queen's diagnosis was first announced on Sunday. At the time, it was said Her Majesty, who is both vaccinated and boosted, was showing "mild cold-like symptoms" and would continue "light duties" at Windsor Castle for the rest of the week. Although she has remained at home, where she has continued "to receive medical attention and will follow all the appropriate guidelines," the Queen on Sunday released her first official statement since her diagnosis, the royal congratulating Great Britain's curling teams for their medal-winning performances at the Beijing Olympics. She later released a message of condolence to Brazil following flooding in the city of Petrópolis, Brazil.

The monarch's diagnosis came just after it was announced that her son, Prince Charles, and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, also tested positive for coronavirus. Charles last met with his mother on Feb. 8, just two days before he received his positive diagnosis. The positive COVID-19 diagnoses come amid a considerable outbreak among palace staff, with a royal source having told CNN that there had recently been "a number of cases ... diagnosed in the Windsor Castle team." According to PEOPLE, staff at Windsor Castle, where the Queen has remained throughout the pandemic, are tested regularly for COVID.

The Queen's diagnosis has sparked renewed concern for her health. In the fall, the Queen faced several health woes. In October, Her Majesty stayed overnight at King Edward VII's Hospital in London for "preliminary investigations." The Queen was said to be in "good spirits" at the time and returned home the following morning. During that time, she canceled several planned engagements as she rested at home and continued light duties.