Watch: Queen takes on public engagement outside the royal residences
As the government continues to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, England has been placed into different tiers, with rules about social interaction differing depending on the rate of infection in each area.
The devolved government in Wales has implemented a 17-day ‘firebreak’ which is close to full lockdown and prevents travel in and out of the nation. Scotland has unveiled a five tier system with one level close to full lockdown for the worst hit areas.
The rules impact how people across the country can work and socialise - and the royals are no different.
Here’s how the changes might impact what the Royal Family can do in each nation.
The Queen is currently living in a Tier 1 region, as she moved back to Windsor Castle when she returned from Scotland after a summer break.
However, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has asked to be placed in higher levels of restrictions, so she might soon find herself in Tier 2.
In Tier 1, people must not meet up in groups larger than six people, indoors or outdoors.
There are exemptions for work purposes, and if the Queen was carrying out an engagement, this would be viewed as her work.
So she could continue some engagements inside, but she should keep 2m distance from anyone who is not in her support bubble.
The guidance for work states anyone who can should work from home, but adds: “There is no limit to group size when you are meeting or gathering for work purposes, but workplaces should be set up to meet the COVID-secure guidelines.”
The Queen carried out an engagement last week at Porton Down, and every member of staff who was present was tested for coronavirus before she attended. All were negative.
Prince Charles, her son, and Camilla, his wife, are also in a Tier 1 region, but they have been travelling into London.
Charles and Camilla are understood to be spending most of their time in Highgrove, which is in Gloucestershire, though Camilla may also be at her home in nearby Wiltshire.
At home they can follow these Tier 1 restrictions, but when they enter a Tier 2 area, they have to follow the higher level.
The Queen, Charles and Camilla are all over 70 and so are classed as clinically vulnerable.
During the full lockdown it was advised that they shield - meaning staying at home all the time to avoid coming into contact with the virus.
However that advice was lifted after the first lockdown and is not currently in place, but some experts want it reinstated.
The three older royals would have to avoid public work if they were asked to shield again.
Prince William and his wife Kate are in a Tier 2 region as they live in Kensington Palace, in London.
The couple has been carrying out engagements since returning from a brief break in Scotland, and most of these have been outside.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are careful to follow rules on mask wearing, and cover up when they are in a car, and when they are inside.
The duke was also wearing a mask outside during an engagement on Wednesday, as he was meeting cancer patients at a hospital. They both kept their masks on at St Bartholomew’s Hospital too.
Tier 2 rules about work are similar to Tier 1, as people should work at home if they can, and there’s no limit on the number who can gather for work.
William and Kate, both 38, would usually be driven to engagements and that is now the best way for them to travel, as the guidance asks people to avoid making too many journeys on public transport.
However, they should, when they can, only travel with members of their own household or support bubble.
They can still travel within the Tier 2 region, and to other areas, but if they need to stay anywhere, they can only do so with their own household.
Watch: How will England's three-tier local lockdown system work?
Tier 3 is the highest level of restrictions in place in England, and there are no members of the Royal Family who are in one of these areas.
Restrictions in Tier 3 are tighter, but they don’t add any new rules to working regulations - continuing to ask people to work from home or in COVID-secure environments if they have to.
However the government currently advises that people should not travel in and out of Tier 3 regions.
The government website says: “In addition, we are advising people not to travel into or out of an area if it has been categorised as a very high alert level area. This is part of wider measures to help manage the risk of transmission. You can continue to travel into or out of very high alert level areas if you need to for work, education, to access youth services or because of caring responsibilities.”
While that would technically allow the royals to go to areas at higher levels if they needed to make an engagement, it would be unlikely that they would purposefully schedule an engagement in a Tier 3 area.
After Tier 3 came into place in the Liverpool City region, Prince William held a video call with two business owners to hear how it was impacting them and their hopes of recovery.
With the royals continuing some video engagements with ongoing travel restrictions, this is more likely to be how they will interact with their charities in Tier 3 areas.
Wales is to implement a two-week ‘fire break’ lockdown on Friday, 23 October, from 6pm.
It means everyone is required to stay at home except critical workers or those who cannot work from home.
Non-essential retail shops are being closed and places of worship will be closed except for funerals or weddings. Households can’t mix but bubbles remain in place.
The lockdown will stop the Royal Family carrying out any engagements there, which could impact Charles in his role as the Prince of Wales. He has a home there.
He was in Wales in July, but won’t be able to carry out engagements while there’s a fire break.
The royals have close ties with Scotland and love to spend summer there as well as carrying out regular engagements.
The nation has introduced a five tier system, instead of the three in England.
The highest level is close to a full lockdown, which would prevent the royals taking on engagements in any of those areas.
In levels three and four, the highest, travel around Scotland and into Scotland from other places, is not recommended, and anyone concerned about their workplace, if they can’t work from home, can get a note from their GP.
Prince Charles and Camilla have recently managed to carry out some engagements in Scotland, as Camilla visited shops in Aberdeen in September.
The couple would have to consider the tier the area they want to visit is in before carrying out engagements.
Buckingham Palace has said it continues to follow government guidelines in each region.
The Duchess of Rothesay today visited two organisations in Aberdeenshire to hear about how they have coped during the Coronavirus pandemic. 🏡 First, Her Royal Highness visited @crathieopportunityholidays, a charity which provides self-catered holiday cottages designed and equipped for people with disabilities. The Duchess has been Patron since 2007 and was today taken on a short tour of the cottages. 🎨 Later, Her Royal Highness visited @ballatergallery, an art gallery showcasing mainly Scottish artists with an international reputation. HRH toured the gallery with owner David Reid, who has previously fundraised for cancer care charity, @maggiescentres.
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