After calling Buckingham Palace home for almost seven decades, the Queen is ready to make the permanent move to Windsor Castle for the final years of her reign. She has spent much of the last two years living and working out of Windsor, having retreated there at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.
Now, she has decided to make the move to Windsor permanent and officially end her residence at Buckingham Palace, according to reports from The Sunday Times. Inside sources told the outlet the Queen will continue to “predominantly” undertake engagements at Windsor, returning to her London palace only for special occasions, such as her upcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Windsor used to be the 95-year-old monarch’s weekend home, though she would also retreat there for important royal events like Easter and Royal Ascot week in June. The quiet residence set well outside of London offers more privacy for the monarch, and after spending so much time there during the pandemic, she’s more comfortable in Windsor than ever.
It was also where Her Majesty spent her final days with husband Prince Philip before his sad death on April 9, 2021, and where she celebrated her last two Christmases. Royal author Hugo Vickers added: “She has her memories with Prince Philip there, she has her ponies there and family nearby. It makes sense.”
There are also practical benefits to the Queen relocating, as Buckingham Palace is currently undergoing millions of dollars worth of renovations, which are set to continue for five more years. It’s understood that she will be more comfortable carrying out royal duties at Windsor for the remaining years of her reign, but that doesn’t mean the Castle will become the official seat of the monarchy.
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are still expected to relocate to Buckingham Palace when they eventually take over from the Queen as King and Queen Consort. The couple currently spend most of their time at their Clarence House residence in London, but also have a home in Scotland called Birkhall.
As the Queen gears up to celebrate 70 years on the throne, Charles is also understood to be preparing to soon take over from his mother. Her health has been cause for concern of late, having been hospitalized in October last year and then testing positive for COVID-19 in February. Though she appears to have recovered from her recent bouts of ill health, the general public has speculated that this may be a sign that the monarch is slowing down and will need to further reduce her royal duties in the coming months.
She has already cut back on engagements and has been carrying out many of her duties virtually from Windsor Castle. Meanwhile, there has also been talk that Prince William and Kate Middleton may soon relocate to Windsor with their children to be closer to the Queen.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.