Queen leaves Buckingham Palace for good and will now permanently ‘work from home’ at Windsor Castle – where she had lived with Prince Philip until his death
- The Queen is not believed to have stayed at Buckingham Palace since 2020
- Understood 95-year-old will now make Windsor Castle her permanent home
- Her central London residence is undergoing a reservicing that last until 2027
- She will instead ‘work from home’ and undertake future engagements from Berkshire home where she lived with Prince Philip until his death last April
- Decision comes ahead of four-day national celebrations in June marking her Platinum Jubilee
The Queen has decided to make Windsor Castle her permanent home and main residence, it was reported last night.
It is understood the 95-year-old monarch will never fully return to Buckingham Palace, where she is not believed to have spent a night since March 2020.
She is instead opting for more of a ‘work from home’ approach to engagements, and is expected to meet dignitaries and officials at her Berkshire home.
It is believed courtiers are also keen to cut down on The Queen’s travel, after she admitted to feeling frail by joking ‘as you can see, I can’t move’ during a recent engagement with two Defence Services Secretaries.
The Queen spent much of lockdown at Windsor with Prince Philip until his death in April last year – with sources saying the couple ‘rediscovered the happiness of their early years together’ while only being attended to by a skeleton staff.
The Queen has decided to make Windsor Castle her permanent home and main residence as she opts for more of a ‘work from home’ approach. Pictured: Her Majesty during a virtual audience to receive the High Commissioner of Malawi
She is instead opting for more of a ‘work from home’ approach to engagements, and is expected to meet dignitaries and officials at her Berkshire home
Her decision may have been influenced by the ongoing reservicing of her central London residence, where renovators or carry out works that will last until 2027.
This means Buckingham Palace will next be occupied by Prince Charles and Camilla when they become King and Queen Consort upon the Queen’s death.
Royal author Hugo Vickers told The Sunday Times: ‘Windsor is the place she loves. She has her memories with Prince Philip there, she has her ponies there and family nearby. It makes sense.’
Windsor also puts the monarch closer to two of her four children.
Her decision may have been influenced by the ongoing reservicing of her central London residence, where renovators or carry out works that will last until 2027
Andrew, the Duke of York, lives at Rowe Lodge on the Windsor estate. Prince Edwards and his wife Sophie Wessex are a 10-mile drive away at Bagshot Park.
Prince Charles, the Duke of Cambridge and the Princess Royal also visit the Queen regularly at Windsor.
It is also believed The Queen now holds her weekly meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson by telephone rather than in person – this has been the case throughout much of the pandemic.
The Queen had found solace in her work following the death of Prince Philip, but she was forced to slow down on medical advice in October last year.
The palace was forced to confirm that she had an overnight stay in hospital after going in for unspecified tests – and since then her appearances have become rarer.
And two weeks ago she was forced to cancel several engagements after catching coronavirus and suffering from ‘mild cold-like’ symptoms.
The Queen spent much of lockdown at Windsor with Prince Philip until his death in April last year – with sources saying the couple ‘rediscovered the happiness of their early years together’ while only being attended to by a skeleton staff
The Queen’s next planned engagement outside Windsor Castle is the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 14, her first official event away from a royal residence in five months.
She is also expected to attend a service of thanksgiving for Prince Philip at the abbey on March 29, together with other members of the royal family.
There is also the matter of a four-day period of national celebrations in June marking her Platinum Jubilee, with events including a Platinum Party at the Palace and a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.
A royal aide told The Times that the Queen ‘will want to take part’ in the festivities.
Until then her schedule has been dramatically reduced.
Her eldest son and heir Charles meanwhile remains in London at his official Clarence House residence.
While he is known to prefer the 200-year-old royal residence a short walk down The Mall, the Prince of Wales is said to have ‘conceded’ that Buckingham Palace should remain the official residence of the monarchy when he ascends to the throne.