Royal Family cautiously returning to business as usual after coronavirus lockdown

After weeks in coronavirus lockdown doing virtual visits and virtual openings, the Royal Family is to start a phased return to normality next week.

After The Queen takes part in a heavily scaled-down version of Trooping the Colour in Windsor today - for her official birthday – Prince Charles and Camilla will be back in London next week to carry out their first face to face engagement since March.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will welcome the French President, Emmanuel Macron, to Clarence House.

They will commemorate the 80th Anniversary of General de Gaulle’s ‘Appel’ to the French population to resist the German occupation of France during World War II.

While royal aides insist that that the couple have been asked to carry out that event on behalf of the government – it will require Charles and Camilla to relocate from Birkhall, their house on the Balmoral estate where they have stayed for the duration of the lockdown.

It’s understood, the couple are moving this weekend from Scotland to England.

They are likely to be based at Highgrove – Prince Charles’ house in Gloucestershire.

William and Kate chatting to volunteers from Machynlleth Community Corona Response Group and users of the service. Credit: Kensington Palace

As they do, the Palaces are examining how members of the Royal Family can now start to re-engage with their public duties and charity work on a face to face basis.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who have spent the lockdown with their children on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, are also considering when and how to move their work away from Zoom video calls and into the ‘real world’.

The Queen, however, is likely to remain in Windsor.

William chats to Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta (top left) and players and coaching staff about mental health. Credit: Kensington Palace

Because of her age – the Queen is 94 – she is unlikely to move to public events anytime soon.

Prince Philip, 99, who is also in Windsor, is officially retired.

But the move to public engagements is being done in secret and with caution in order to protect the public.

Royal visitors inevitably attract large crowds – and because of the strict government rules on social distancing, royal aides will not publicise any visits in advance.

Just like in Windsor today, the Royals won’t do anything which might encourage people to gather in large numbers.