Queen ‘busy’ at Windsor amid claim she could be away from public life for months

The Queen continues to be "busy" while she remains at Windsor Castle during the coronavirus pandemic, a spokeswoman said, following a report she could stay withdrawn from public life for months.

The monarch has already been at her Berkshire residence for almost eight weeks, having moved there from Buckingham Palace in March, and spent her 94th birthday in lockdown on April 21.

While following the guidance on remaining safe, she is still working, conducting a weekly audience with the Prime Minister by phone and receiving her daily red boxes of Government papers, an official said.

A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said: "The Queen continues to be busy and will follow appropriate advice on engagements."

The Sunday Times reported that the Queen is to withdraw from public life for months in what the newspaper said could be the longest absence from official duties in her long reign.

The Queen, who is at Windsor with the Duke of Edinburgh and a reduced household, has made two speeches to the nation since the lockdown.

She delivered what was believed to be her first Easter address in April through an audio message, telling the public "by keeping apart we keep others safe".

And on Friday she gave a poignant message to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, praising the nation's response to the coronavirus outbreak that has filled empty streets with "love and care".

She is keeping in touch with her family by phone and video calls as the royals follow social-distancing rules along with the rest of the country.

The Queen has witnessed many turbulent times during her reign, but even she confessed of the global Covid-19 pandemic: "While we have faced challenges before, this one is different."