British Royal Family

The confronting reality we're facing as the Queen steps back from her public royal duties indefinitely

The move is unprecedented, but this is no ordinary time.

By Jess Pullar
There's no denying that COVID-19 has uprooted life as we know it, and that rings true for quite literally everyone - even one of the world's most elite families.
Yes, Queen Elizabeth, our reigning Monarch for a cool 68 years, has had to adapt just like the rest of us.
While she seemed to be getting on with things much like the younger royal generations (read: virtual meetings, video messages and written statements), the 94-year-old has now taken drastic measures to protect her own safety.
According to a new report from The Sunday Times, the Queen has now suspended all duties until at least the British Autumn (September, for us folk Down Under).
This marks a drastic, yet realistic measure for the regal firm as it continues to do what it can to safeguard its blue-blooded members against the virus, which is known to be particularly harmful to the elderly and vulnerable.
The publication reports that the Queen will not step out for a public engagement until at least the British autumn, with a royal source explaining: "The Queen won't do anything which goes against the advice of people in her [age] category, and she's going to take all the appropriate advice."
"There are discussions what we could do and couldn't do come October," they explained.
That aside, they reassured us that the Queen is still busy and continues to carry out her official duties which don't involve public appearances - her weekly phone calls with the British PM Boris Johnson being one of them.
The Queen has stepped back from her public duties amid the COVID-19 pandemic - an unprecedented move in modern royal history. (Getty)
Of course, these drastic measures are reassuring to us, knowing that the Queen's age, not to mention her influence, gives her every reason to heed informed medical advice and to stay isolated to avoid catching the virus.
But it's no less confronting when you consider that out of all the incredible things the Queen has said and done throughout her six-decade long reign, what is likely to be one of her last, and possibly most important moves won't involve us seeing her at all.
Don't get us wrong, at 94, she's had a very good run and we're completely of the belief that the inspirational royal has a good few years left in her to bring us plenty more colourful appearances, stirring speeches and the pomp and fanfare we've come to know and love from the regal fold.
But that doesn't detract from the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly be seen as one of the biggest events she's encountered in her life.
And to think that this is happening on the pointy end of her reign, at a time where we would love to see her more than ever, it's difficult (albeit completely understandable) to accept that we won't be seeing her glowing face and bright and bold outfit of the day for a while to come.
The Queen has seen and done a lot throughout her 68-year reign, but this might be the biggest of all. (Getty)
In March, the Queen travelled from her usual residence in Buckingham Palace back to Windsor Castle with husband Prince Philip by her side.
Since then, the pair have remained in lockdown as royal aides take all the measures to ensure the pair's safety.
Rightly so too, 71-year-old Prince Charles had a scare a few weeks back when he tested positive for the virus.
He's since made a full recovery, but it was no less concerning to see how the illness could infiltrate even the most secure circles of the world.
It really doesn't discriminate - so in the case of our Queen, we're all for her new, temporary background role.
WATCH: The Queen delivers one of her first ever televised messages in 1957. Story continues below...
And despite the fact we won't be seeing her up close in one of her usual outings anytime soon, she's given us plenty of content in the interim.
Her war-time style address to the nation delivered in early April was case in point.
In the poignant message, which was filmed in Windsor Castle with just one cameraperson decked out in protective gear (and standing socially distanced from Her Majesty, of course), the Queen told her fellow nationals to hold tight and stay strong - because better days were on the horizon.
"I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it. I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge," she said during the speech.
"And those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country."
Wise words from a wiser woman - she really is unstoppable, both in-person and behind the scenes.

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