Queen returns to Windsor Castle as Buckingham Palace cancels all remaining ceremonies | Royal | News
The Queen returned to Windsor Castle to resume her work after a two-month-long summer break, Buckingham Palace has confirmed. Prince Philip remained in Sandringham, which has become his main residence since retiring from royal duties. An entry in the Court Circular, the official register where the Royal Family records its official engagements, also confirmed the monarch’s return to Berkshire, saying the Queen’s Lord-Lieutenant of Essex welcomed the president of Ukraine and his wife to Stansted Airport on behalf of the sovereign.
This event dated October 6 was recorded under the Windsor Castle household, confirming the monarch has once again taken residence in Berkshire.
The entry reads: “Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst (Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Essex) was present at Stansted Airport, London, this evening upon the Arrival of The President of Ukraine and Mrs Zelenska and welcomed Their Excellencies on behalf of The Queen.”
Highlighting this entry in the Court Circular, royal expert Joe Little wrote on Twitter: “The Queen has returned to Windsor Castle after her sojourn on the Sandringham Estate.”
The Queen spent the first five months of the coronavirus pandemic at Windsor Castle with Prince Philip.
The Queen appears to have returned to Windsor Castle
The Queen’s staff has cancelled all the ceremonies and receptions planned for 2020 at Buckingham Palace
The pair arrived in Berkshire together on March 19, after the monarch completed her last private audiences at Buckingham Palace.
From there, the Queen continued to hold a weekly meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, albeit via phone rather than in person, and to receive the Government’s red box.
Marking a royal first, the monarch even took part in an engagement via video link and spoke to carers and a representative at the Carers Trust.
Most notably, while in Windsor the monarch delivered two poignant speeches to the country, one in April to urge Britons to be strong at the height of the first wave of COVID-19 infections and one in May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
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Prince Philip standing down as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles
Windsor Castle has also been the theatre of a stripped-down Trooping the Colour parade attended by the Queen without any other family member and the investiture ceremony of Captain Tom Moore.
Prince Philip, who retired from public duties in August 2017, also carried out an engagement in the Quadrangle.
In July, the 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh officially stood down from his role of Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles regiment and passed the honour on to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
The Queen left Buckingham Palace on March 19
The Queen attended alone a stripped down Trooping the Colour parade
The Queen and Prince Philip reached Balmoral Castle in early August, where they were visited by a few members of the Royal Family including Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, the Wessexes and the Cambridges.
On September 16, the royals cut short their stay in Scotland and headed to Sandringham, where they spent privately the past few weeks.
From her Norfolk estate, the Queen issued a personal statement to mark the death of the emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah.
While the monarch and Prince Philip were at Sandringham, Buckingham Palace announced the decision to cancel all the ceremonies and receptions still scheduled for 2020.
The Queen spent six weeks at Balmoral Castle over the summer
ITV royal editor Chris Ship wrote on Twitter: “Buckingham Palace has decided to cancel all receptions and investitures for the rest of the year.
“They have concluded they cannot accommodate large numbers of people at the palace due to social distancing requirements.”
He added: “It remains the Queen’s intention to live at Windsor Castle but still to use Buckingham Palace for certain official duties and engagements.
“Obviously, we now know they will only be very small ones, not any that necessitate a large crowd of people.”
The Queen with Captain Tom Moore
While unwelcomed, Buckingham Palace’s decision was not unexpected, as the palace had already announced it would continue to review its plans and adapt them to the Government advice on the pandemic.
Upon announcing the Queen and Prince Philip would spend a few weeks privately in Norfolk, a palace spokesperson also said: “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.”
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip Britain, the monarch is expected to continue her self-isolation in Berkshire when she has a handful of trusted members of the staff working on a tight three-weeks-on, three-weeks-off rota.