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Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will depart this week from Balmoral Castle, their residence in a remote mountainous area of Scotland, to spend about a month at their Sandringham estate before the Queen returns to Windsor Castle in October, she confirmed. Buckingham Palace at USA TODAY.
The royals “will spend time privately at the Sandringham estate” in Norfolk, England, a statement from Buckingham Palace revealed Monday morning, noting that their schedule is “subject to the finalization of the autumn schedule”.
The Queen and her husband had stayed at Balmoral, the royal family’s usual summer residence, after spending most of their time in coronavirus quarantine since mid-March at Windsor Castle, just outside London. Guided tours of Balmoral, open to the public, begin on October 3, according to the castle’s official website.
Depending on “all relevant directions and advice”, the Queen intends to return to Windsor next month and “will resume use of Buckingham Palace for selected audiences and engagements.”
In this June 1, 2020 photo, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip pose for a photo in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle before the Duke of Edinburgh’s 99th birthday. (Photo: Steve Parsons, AP)
Under normal circumstances, the Queen spends only about a third of her time during the year at Buckingham Palace, dividing her time between London Palace and Windsor Castle, where she generally spends weekends. The royal family spends the Christmas season in Sandringham and sometimes even throughout the year.
Queen Elizabeth made few public appearances during the coronavirus shutdown, though, like her children and grandchildren, she entered Zoom’s world of virtual engagements.
She and Prince Philip appeared in socially distant wedding photos with Princess Beatrice, who married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in July in a small family ceremony in Windsor after their original May wedding date was postponed due to coronavirus concerns.
Later that month, Prince Philip made a five-minute appearance outside Windsor Castle for the ceremonial handing over of his role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Military Rifle Regiment to his daughter-in-law, Duchess Camilla of Cornwall.
New photos of the Queen and her husband were released in June before Philip’s 99th birthday on June 10, which they discreetly celebrated at Windsor Castle. Queen Elizabeth, who turned 94 in April, also had a reduced celebration in Windsor in June, when her birthday is usually commemorated with Trooping the Color. This year, he celebrated his official birthday with a curtailed celebration, including a military ceremony in his first official public appearance since lockdown measures were imposed in March.
In May, the palace released photos of the 94-year-old queen’s first public appearance since she went into quarantine, riding Fern, her 14-year-old pony Fell, and bypassing a hardhat.
Contributors: Maria Puente
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