The Queen may never return to her normal public duties due to the risk of coronavirus, according to a royal biographer.
Andrew Morton, who penned the controversial tell-all 1992 book Diana: Her True Story, told The Sun he “can’t see how the Queen can resume her usual job”.
As experts fear Covid-19 could become a seasonal problem, Mr Morton said it would be “far too risky” for the 94-year-old monarch to be regularly meeting people in person.
It comes after previous reports Her Majesty is set to withdraw from public duties for months in the longest enforced absence ever during her reign.
The British Monarch will remain at Windsor Castle with the Duke of Edinburgh for an indefinite period, with palace officials confirming her safety will not be risked during the crisis.
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But Mr Morton predicts measures will have to go much further.
He said the most likely scenario is “maybe only seeing her on video links”, similar to her address to the nation last week – because “if she gets the bug, it could be fatal” to her or Prince Philip.
Mr Morton believes the pandemic will also set the royals back decades, adding the “touchy-feely way of doing things” pioneered by Princess Diana would have to stop.
“We will be back to the days of white gloves and distancing, which makes the royals more remote,” he said.
Her Majesty normally returns to Buckingham Palace from Windsor in May, where she spends most of her time until her July summer break at Balmoral.
Her enforced absence is expected to be the longest period of time that she has been kept away from official duties in her 68-year reign.
The Trooping of the Colour, the Order of the Garter Service, and her garden parties have already been cancelled as a result of the outbreak.
The crisis also threatens plans for a state visit from South Africa as the virus continues to wreak havoc on royal schedules.
The Queen has made two TV addresses to the nation while in isolation, with last month’s broadcast attracting around 24 million viewers.
A royal source told the Times : “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 about what we could and couldn’t do come October.
“We haven’t cancelled a load of engagements, but nothing is going into Her Majesty’s diary at the moment.
“If there is advice in the coming months that it’s fine for her to come back to London, she may do that, but until that time, she’d want to be seen to be being responsible in her actions for the nation.”
Her last public appearance was at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9, and she has been self-isolating with Prince Philip at Windsor since March 19.
“I don’t think we’ll see her again for a while,” added a Palace insider.
“Nobody will risk it, particularly with the threat of a second spike later in the year.”
The Queen is in regular contact with Boris Johnson on the state of the pandemic and the Government’s response.
However, the Prime Minister’s easing of lockdown and ‘road map’ on Sunday has led to confusion and ridicule.
The devolved leaders, meanwhile, have distanced themselves from Mr Johnson’s new ‘stay alert’ slogan which has been described as ‘nonsense’.