Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to spend time privately at Sandringham

The Queen will move to her Sandringham Estate next week after a summer break in Balmoral.

Along with the Duke of Edinburgh, the 94-year-old monarch will leave her retreat in Aberdeenshire and go to Sandringham to “spend time privately”, Buckingham Palace said.

A palace spokesman said the Queen intends to return to Windsor Castle in Berkshire next month and begin using Buckingham Palace again for royal engagements.

The head of state travelled with Philip to Balmoral in early August for her traditional summer break.

The couple went ahead with their annual stay in the Highlands after spending the previous four months at their Berkshire residence with a reduced household dubbed HMS Bubble.

A police officer stands at the gates to Sandringham House (Chris Radburn/PA)
A police officer stands at the gates to Sandringham House (Chris Radburn/PA)

The trip to Balmoral was the first time the Queen and Philip travelled away from Windsor since relocating from Buckingham Palace on March 19.

On Tuesday, a palace spokesman said: “The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will depart Balmoral Castle during the week commencing September 14 to spend time privately on the Sandringham Estate.

“Subject to the finalisation of the autumn programme, Her Majesty’s intention is to return to Windsor Castle in October and to resume the use of Buckingham Palace for selected audiences and engagements.

“These plans will be kept under review and will of course be subject to all relevant guidance and advice.”

Future arrangements for the 99-year-old duke are still being discussed.

It is not yet known whether Philip will remain on the Sandringham estate when the Queen returns to Windsor, or whether he will join the monarch at the Berkshire castle where they spent the lockdown.

According to its website, guided tours of the grounds, exhibitions and ballroom at Balmoral will be available from Saturday October 3.