Coronavirus outbreak has impacted all aspects of life including the annual public events. One of Queen Elizabeth II's favourite sporting events Royal Ascot may also get postponed or take place behind closed doors.
The week-long event dates back to 1911 and it is held annually. Every year, the Royal Week is attended by Queen Elizabeth II as well as other members of the British royal family. Apart from the queen, Prince of Wales, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Earl and Countess of Wessex are some of the important guests of the event.
However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, public events that bring together large gatherings have been either cancelled or postponed. The racing world's popular events Guineas and The Derby have been affected. And it is now believed changes will be made to the schedule of Royal Ascot that was originally scheduled for June.
While there is still no news about its cancellation, it is believed that the organisers may go ahead if the government gives its approval, however, with a few changes. According to BBC, if the government permits, the meeting may take place "behind closed doors" and with no spectators. It will be an event but remain closed to the public.
"For public health and safety reasons we have reached the difficult but unavoidable conclusion that Royal Ascot 2020 (Tuesday 16th – Saturday 20th June) will not be able to take place as an event open to the public.
"It may prove possible to run the Royal Ascot races behind closed doors, dependent on Government and public health policy and the approval of the British Horseracing Authority for us to re-start racing.
This would be for the benefit of the industry, our valued partners and suppliers and our television audiences at home and internationally. Planning for this is now our complete focus and we will update on progress as and when we can," said Ascot Racecourse spokesperson and chief executive Guy Henderson.
The customers are informed that the tickets will be refunded in full.
This will probably be the first time in the queen's 68 years of being the sovereign that she will not be attending the racing event. The Ascot Racecourse Ltd enjoys a close relationship with the royal family and the racecourse is situated six miles away from the royal residence, Windsor Castle.