The Queen has permanently moved to Windsor Castle, according to multiple reports, leaving London and Buckingham Palace as a place of residence for good.
Her Majesty and her late husband the Duke of Edinburgh moved to the 1000-year-old site in Berkshire at the beginning of the pandemic two years ago.
Having spent the past two Christmases there due to Covid restrictions, the monarch is said to have “no plans” to return to Buckingham Palace.
As The Sunday Times reports, Buckingham Palace is midway through a ten year, £369 million refurbishment due to be finished in 2027, and it is not practical for the Queen to return.
“Windsor is the place she loves,” royal author Hugo Vickers told the Times. “She has her memories with Prince Philip there, she has her ponies there and family nearby. It makes sense.”
Her Majesty will still make day trips to the central London palace, it is understood
Buckingham Palace has been the official royal residence since 1837. And, even if the Queen never lives there again, she will return there for events including the Platinum Jubilee in June.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are set to be the next royals to take up residence at Buckingham Palace. Charles is said to prefer his London residence Clarence House but accepts that Buckingham Palace should remain “monarchy HQ”.
The Queen spent much of her childhood at Windsor, after her parents were gifted the Royal Lodge by her grandfather, King George V, when Her Majesty was five years old.
She went on to use the castle as a weekend retreat during World War II, before moving there for a time with her sister Princess Margaret as it was considered to be safer than London.
Her Majesty will now be a short drive from Bagshot Park, where Prince Edward lives, while Prince Andrew resides at the Royal Lodge.
Windsor is also where the Queen’s late husband, Prince Philip, is buried. When Her Majesty dies, the pair will be buried together in King George VI’s memorial chapel.