Queen Elizabeth II reschedules upcoming appearances amid coronavirus outbreak

The coronavirus is now a royal problem.

Buckingham Palace announced Friday that Queen Elizabeth II will not be making scheduled public appearances at events next week due to the threat of the coronavirus.

"As a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances, changes are being made to The Queen's diary commitments in the coming weeks,'' the palace said in a statement.

"In consultation with the Medical Household and Government, Her Majesty's forthcoming visits to Cheshire and Camden will be rescheduled. Audiences will continue as usual. Other events will be reviewed on an ongoing basis in line with the appropriate advice."

The 93-year-old monarch's most recent public appearance came on Monday for Commonwealth Day. She joined the rest of the British royal family at London's Westminster Abbey for the ceremony, which also marked the final event for Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, before they step back from their duties as senior royals at the end of the month.

Due to her age, Queen Elizabeth is part of the group that top public health officials say is most vulnerable to the illness.

A top Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official recommended on Monday that people over age 60 and anyone with chronic medical conditions should prepare for a lengthy stay at home.

"This seems to be a disease that affects adults and most seriously older adults," Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters on a conference call.

"Starting at age 60, there is an increasing risk of disease and the risk increases with age."

The change in the queen's schedule is the latest public disruption across the world caused by the COVID-19 virus, which has caused schools to close, major sports leagues and Broadway to suspend operations, cruise lines to halt operations and state governments to limit large gatherings of people.