Beatrice’s wedding off amid virus fears
The Queen's granddaughter Princess Beatrice has been forced to cancel her wedding on May 29 because of the coronavirus outbreak.
It comes as Prince George and Princess Charlotte will begin homeschooling as the coronavirus outbreak worsens in Britain.
A friend of Beatrice - daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York - told The Sun she is "very sad" about the decision, but realised there was "no alternative" to moving the event to next year for the safety of all concerned.
The wedding is the latest royal event to be cancelled after Buckingham Palace garden parties were axed and the Queen will leave Buckingham Palace.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman confirmed: "Princess Beatrice and Mr Mapelli Mozzi are very much looking forward to getting married but are equally aware of the need to avoid undertaking any unnecessary risks in the current circumstances.
"In line with government advice for the UK and beyond, the couple are reviewing their arrangements for 29th May.
"They are particularly conscious of government advice in relation to both the wellbeing 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 among a small group of family and friends."
Trooping the Colour, Royal Ascot and the Derby are also likely to be cancelled and the Chelsea Flower Show has already been stopped.
A royal insider revealed 31 year-old Beatrice and her fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi were planning to use marquees and Portaloos from the garden parties for their reception in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
"The fact they won't be available was a factor but the main reason is the safety of guests" said the insider.
"There were only going to be 150 guests at the wedding but double that amount at the reception.
"It was just too risky.
"The Queen had to be there and it wasn't fair to put her in danger aged 94.
"The couple are obviously very sad but they realise other people are suffering much more and they are philosophical about it."
Unlike her sister Princess Eugenie, who married Jack Brooksbank at Windsor Castle in 2018 followed by a carriage ride to cheering crowds, Beatrice's nuptials have been dogged by bad luck from the start.
She and wealthy property developer Mozzi, who got engaged in Italy last year, were never going to have a big event in the wake of Prince Andrew's involvement with disgraced sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
"The public wouldn't have tolerated the cost of a televised set-piece service with Andrew walking his daughter down the aisle after he was taken off royal duties" said one courtier.
"Beatrice and Edo couldn't get married in Italy because the Queen and Prince Philip would have been too old to travel, and then there were problems finding a venue."
Eventually the pair decided to marry in the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace followed by the reception in the nearby grounds of Buckingham Palace."
Prince Andrew's ex-wife Fergie has been "working all hours" organising the wedding and was said to be "bitterly disappointed" last night.
"Sarah has put her heart and soul into making it a lovely day but she like everyone else has accepted it can't go ahead" said the friend.
"She's just looking forward to reorganising it in happier times."
GEORGE AND CHARLOTTE TO BE HOMESCHOOLED
It comes as George and Princess Charlotte will now be homeschooled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The young royals, third and fourth in line to the throne, will be taught at home following advice from their $A40,000-a-year school.
Thomas's in Battersea, London, are encouraging all parents including Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, to remove children from classes by Friday.
The measure is precautionary and no one has tested positive for the disease.
Prince George, six, is coming to the end of his second year at the school and four-year-old Princess Charlotte joined her big brother last September.
Several children at Thomas's four schools, in Battersea, Clapham, Kensington and Fulham, have been tested for the virus but no one has been found positive for coronavirus, it is understood.
George and Charlotte will be given "remote learning" lessons at home.
A spokesman for Thomas's London Day Schools said: "Due to the increasing numbers of children and staff being absent from school due to the coronavirus situation, Thomas's London Day Schools have decided to move to remote learning from Friday 20 March.
"From this date the curriculum will be taught through online learning platforms and we have asked parents to keep their children at home and to access their lessons through this system.
"This will ensure that children have continuity of learning when they are unable to attend school.
"In cases where families are not in a position to keep their children at home (such as those who are "front line staff' in the medical profession, for example), the school will remain physically open until the last day of term, Thursday, 26th March.
"We appreciate the support of our school community as we continue to provide the best possible solution for our pupils during these challenging times."
The coeducation school has a theatre, gymnasium, ballet room and pottery room and two libraries and rooftop playground.
It has 560 boys and girls aged between four and 13-years-old and charges $A40,000 a year.
Former pupils include model Cara Delavigne and singer Florence Welch.
It comes after royal officials announced the Queen is to leave Buckingham Palace and step down from several future engagements to remain at Windsor Castle amid the coronavirus epidemic.
Her Majesty will move to Windsor on Thursday one week ahead of schedule due government advice to combat the outbreak.
She is then likely to remain at Windsor Castle for an extended period after the Easter period, it has been announced.