The Queen, 94, who is on vacation at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, will likely head back to Windsor Castle rather than her London home of Buckingham Palace

By Simon Perry
August 24, 2020 01:57 PM
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The traditional home of the monarchy is set to be without Queen Elizabeth for several more months.

The Queen, who is currently on vacation at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, won't be living at Buckingham Palace for the foreseeable future as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt working patterns.

The Queen typically heads back to her London palace residence at the beginning of October following her annual break in Scotland, but this year she'll be returning to Windsor Castle, where she has been staying with husband Prince Philip, 99, since mid-March amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

It will be the longest she has been away from the central seat of the monarchy during her 68-year-old reign, says The Sunday Times, which first reported the story.

Queen Elizabeth II
| Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty
Balmoral Castle
| Credit: Giuseppe Masci/AGF/UIG/Getty Images
Buckingham Palace
| Credit: Pawel Libera/LightRocket via Getty
Windsor Castle
| Credit: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020

Buckingham Palace reps had no comment. A royal source was quoted by the Times as saying, "There is a desire to get Buckingham Palace up and running again as a working palace, but only if all the relevant advice suggests that it is appropriate to do so."

Earlier this summer, it emerged that the Queen's public engagements were being scaled back amid the pandemic, but she was able to take part in the outdoor awarding of a knighthood to charity hero, Captain Tom Moore on July 17.

Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Her July appearance underlines how events and advice are ever-changing and palace insiders are unsure of how the pandemic will affect arrangements for the Queen in the months ahead.

With the Queen based at Windsor when she returns from Balmoral in October, it is expected that she will commute the 30 miles into London for any public or behind-closed-doors engagements that require her attendance. And plans are being made for how she and other royals can safely attend the annual Remembrance Day events in central London in November.

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The monarch has been conducting her royal business with a small number of staffers in attendance in a self-contained "bubble" at Windsor Castle. That structure has continued in Scotland and will likely do so when she relocates to Sandringham for the annual Christmas and winter holiday.

Credit: Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images

It's expected that Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will return to London in the coming weeks to relocate their operations in the U.K. capital.

William and Kate and their children will also visit the Queen's Scottish estate in the coming days before Prince George and Princess Charlotte start school in September.