Queen and Philip to head to Balmoral for the summer, Buckingham Palace announces

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are to leave Windsor Castle and head to Scotland for their summer break at Balmoral, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

The monarch and Philip will be going ahead with their annual stay in the Highlands after spending the last four months at their Berkshire residence during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

It is the first time the 94-year-old Queen and Philip have travelled away from Windsor since relocating from Buckingham Palace on March 19.

The Queen and Philip
The Queen and Philip

Buckingham Palace said the royal pair will make the 500-mile journey north in early August and take up residence at Balmoral.

But the palace declined to give an exact date of departure.

A palace spokesman said: “The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh plan to move to Balmoral Castle in early August to commence their annual summer stay.

“All arrangements will be in line with the relevant guidelines and advice.”

The head of state and Philip, 99, have been staying at Windsor with a reduced household – dubbed HMS Bubble – for her safety for the past 18 weeks.

The Queen had long been expected to go ahead with her visit – one of her favourite parts of the year – if it proved safe and logistically possible.