Garden parties, one of the highlights of the royal summer season, have been cancelled this year just a day after the Prime Minister announced further lockdown restrictions.
Evolving measures to combat the spread of coronavirus made planning for the major events very difficult and the decision has been taken not to stage the gatherings.
Garden parties are hosted by members of the royal family at Buckingham Palace in London and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, with more than 30,000 guests in total attending each summer.
Buckingham Palace announced the decision, which comes after England entered its third national lockdown and mainland Scotland saw the introduction of similar restrictions.
A palace spokesman said: “The decision has been taken that garden parties will not take place in 2021.”
Garden parties were cancelled during 2020 following the first UK lockdown.
It is understood that with deadlines approaching for committing to the garden parties, it was not possible to plan how they would be feasible, taking into account Covid-19 precautions.
Contractors involved in staging the large gatherings, where around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed, have been informed.
The Queen hosts three garden parties at Buckingham Palace and one at the Palace of Holyroodhouse every summer and others can be hosted by members of her family.
Members of the public and celebrities who have served their communities or the nation are invited and the events allow the Queen to speak to a broad range of people.
An annual garden party is also held for the Not Forgotten Association, a charity for war veterans, which is usually hosted by its patron the Princess Royal.