Queen and Prince Philip are parted after quarantining together for seven months: Her Majesty returns to ‘HMS Bubble’ at Windsor Castle while the Duke of Edinburgh remains at Sandringham
- The Queen has returned to Windsor Castle following a stay at Sandringham
- Duke of Edinburgh remains in Norfolk, where they spent the last three weeks
- Couple cut short their Balmoral summer holiday to spend time at Sandringham
The Queen has returned to Windsor Castle after spending time with the Duke of Edinburgh at Sandringham, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.
The monarch, 94, arrived at Windsor on Tuesday while Prince Philip, 99, remained in Norfolk, where he has spent the majority of his retirement.
The couple have spent seven months together after being placed into joint quarantine at Windsor in March. They spent six weeks at Balmoral over summer before cutting short their break to spend the last three weeks together in Norfolk.
It is the most amount of time the couple has spent together in recent years.
However now the Queen, 94, has returned to ‘HMS Bubble’ at Windsor, where she intends to resume audiences and small engagements.
The Queen has returned to Windsor Castle after spending time with the Duke of Edinburgh at Sandringham, Buckingham Palace has confirmed. Pictured, the couple at Windsor in June
It was previously thought Prince Philip might be ‘made’ to return to Windsor because of a lack of staff needed to maintain a second ‘bubble’ at Sandringham.
However it appears a solution has been reached as Prince Philip remains at Wood Farm, his favoured retreat on the Sandringham estate.
It comes after the Queen was forced to cancel all major events at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle for the rest of the year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Receptions and events like investitures will be cancelled, palace officials confirmed today, despite attempts to find a compromise.
Buckingham Palace said on its website: ‘In line with current Government guidelines, and as a sensible precaution in the current circumstances, there will be no large-scale events held at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle for the rest of the year.
‘A variety of possibilities were examined to see if it was possible for investitures to safely take place in line with the guidelines.
The monarch, 94, arrived at the residence on Tuesday while Prince Philip, 99, remained in Norfolk, where he has spent the majority of his time since retiring. Pictured, Windsor today
‘Sadly, due to the large numbers of guests and recipients attending, it was not possible to find a way of safely delivering these events in the current circumstances. Recipients will be contacted directly.
‘The Queen’s intention remains to return to Windsor Castle in October and to resume the use of Buckingham Palace during an autumn programme of audiences and engagements, in line with all relevant guidance and advice.’
The monarch was said to be ‘furious’ last month when employees of the Royal Household revolted against a plan for them to stay in a coronavirus bubble at Sandringham over Christmas.
The Queen typically spends her winter break at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk (pictured) but could be forced to spend Christmas at Windsor Castle for the first time in 33 years
A team of about 20 staff members had been asked to remain at the 20,000 acre property without their families to support her, Prince Philip and other members of the Royal Family during the festive period.
But the group – said to involve cleaners, laundry and maintenance workers – are believed to have mutinied because they are unwilling to isolate from loved ones for four weeks.
Staff were being asked to stay for the month-long period so they could remain in a Covid bubble to protect the 94-year-old monarch.
The uprising means the Queen could be forced to spend Christmas at Windsor Castle for the first time in 33 years.