Queen returns to Windsor after summer break – why royal won’t go to Buckingham Palace

Queen to use Scottish 'ethos' for Parliament speech says expert

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Queen Elizabeth II spent two months at her Balmoral estate, which she does every summer and has done since the start of her reign. However, this year was incredibly poignant as it was her first summer trip to Balmoral without her husband of 73 years, the late Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away in April this year. The Queen returned to Windsor Castle on Saturday afternoon, according to the court circular, which marks a change in tradition.

Queen Elizabeth would usually return to her official residence, Buckingham Palace, under normal circumstances, and not Windsor Castle.

The monarch, 95, had been staying at her Scottish residence since 23 July and she was visited by family members over the summer, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Eugenie, Jack Brooksbank, and their baby son August.

Since the death of her beloved husband Prince Philip, the Queen has mainly resided at Windsor Castle.

This 900-year-old property is where her late husband spent his final days, and it is a spectacular home that holds lots of loving memories for the Queen.

It is reported that the monarch plans to make this royal house her permanent residence, instead of Buckingham Palace.

Pre-pandemic, the Queen would mainly reside at her central London home of Buckingham Palace with its 775 rooms, a private cinema, chapel and even its own Post Office.

The Queen will still return to Buckingham Palace for work and audiences, for instance, her official audience with Prime Minister Boris Johnson took place at Buckingham Palace in June.

But she is unlikely to stay at Buckingham Palace overnight, according to Royal Central.

The Queen reportedly prefers to stay at Windsor, having chosen to remain there throughout lockdown, and even lives nearby to the Earl and Countess of Wessex at Bagshot Park in Windsor.

The Prince of Wales may also take over some of his mother’s duties, including meeting ambassadors and high commissioners at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen will continue to spend each summer at Balmoral Castle and Christmas at Sandringham, as usual, despite relocating to Windsor for the majority of the working year.

The Queen has already begun her busy autumn schedule of public engagements.

On Friday, she was joined by the Prince of Wales as they marked the start of the official tree planting season for the Queen’s Green Canopy.

The Queen was then accompanied by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall as she opened the sixth session of the Scottish Parliament on Saturday.

During her address, the monarch spoke about her late husband, who passed away in April: “I have spoken before of my deep and abiding affection for this wonderful country, and of the many happy memories Prince Philip and I always held of our time here.

“It is often said that it is the people that make a place, and there are few places where this is truer than in Scotland, as we have seen in recent times.”

For the past 18 months, Her Majesty has resided mostly at Windsor Castle.

She will host a reception at Windsor Castle to mark the Global Investment Summit on October 19, and will likely host many more royal engagements at the castle from this point forward.

However, today, the Queen and the Earl of Wessex will be at Buckingham Palace to launch the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

While many of the Queen’s engagements took place via video or telephone calls during the last lockdown, she began carrying out in-person engagements again from March.

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