Queen Elizabeth postpones state visit due to coronavirus pandemic

Queen Elizabeth has postponed plans to host the Emperor and Empress of Japan at Windsor Castle.

The 93-year-old monarch had hoped to welcome Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako in the spring as part of an official state visit, but Buckingham Palace has now confirmed it "will be rescheduled at a later date" due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement released on behalf of the Queen explained: "After consultation with Her Majesty's Government and the Government of Japan, Her Majesty The Queen has agreed that, in the current circumstances, the planned State Visit to the United Kingdom in Spring 2020 by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan should be postponed. The State Visit will be rescheduled at a later date."

The Emperor and Empress were set to stay at Windsor Castle, and their visit would also have involved hundreds of royal household staff, as well as members of the military and police officers.

Meanwhile, Princess Beatrice recently changed her wedding plans due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The 31-year-old royal - who is the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth - was due to marry her fiance, property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, on May 29 in the Chapel Royal at St James' Palace.

The ceremony was set to be followed by a reception in the nearby grounds of Buckingham Palace - but due to the pandemic, Beatrice and Edoardo have decided to change their plans.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "They are particularly conscious of government advice in relation to both the well-being of older family members and large gatherings of people.

"Therefore, the planned reception in the Buckingham Palace Gardens will not take place. The couple will carefully consider government advice before deciding whether a private marriage might take place amongst a small group of family and friends."