Queen Elizabeth Delays Diplomatic Reception Amid Health Woes, Ukraine Crisis

Queen Elizabeth II postponed another event, but it had nothing to do with her health. The 95-year-old monarch, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Feb. 20, was scheduled to host a meeting of U.K. diplomats at Windsor Castle on Wednesday, but the Foreign Office suggested canceling the event amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The invasion began on Feb. 24.

On Wednesday, the queen and other members of the Royal Family were scheduled to meet over 500 members of the U.K. diplomatic corps for an annual meeting. However, on Sunday, Buckingham Palace said the event was postponed. "The Queen has accepted the Foreign Secretary's advice that the Diplomatic Reception at Windsor on Wednesday 2nd March should be postponed," the statement read.

Since the request came from the Foreign Office, it is unlikely that the postponement was due to the queen's health, notes PEOPLE. The event would have taken place less than a week after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine. The attack began on Feb. 24 and has included the bombing of major Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv. The invasion has been widely condemned, with governments around the world imposing sanctions on Russia, including the U.S.

Back on Feb. 20, Buckingham Palace announced Queen Elizabeth tested positive for COVID-19 and was showing "mild cold-like symptoms." The palace said she would continue "light duties" as the U.K.'s head of state at Windsor and will "continue to receive medical attention and will follow all the appropriate guidelines." Prince Charles tested positive for COVID on Feb. 10, two days after a meeting with his mother.

The queen has not made a public appearance since the diagnosis. She was scheduled to hold virtual meetings on Feb. 22, but those were canceled because she was "still experiencing mild cold-like symptoms" at the time. Queen Elizabeth's appearances at other engagements would be "decided in due course," the palace said.


Following an incorrect report that the queen died, Buckingham Palace confirmed on Feb. 24 that the queen had a virtual meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson the night before. "There were no other planned engagements in today's diary, though, for transparency purposes, there had been a planned in-person audience, but as Her Majesty has been diagnosed with COVID that was canceled on Monday as it would have broken guidelines to have gone ahead," a source told Entertainment Tonight