In normal times, London's Buckingham Palace is Queen Elizabeth's home base—but amid the coronavirus pandemic, the British monarch hasn't resided there since March, when she and Prince Philip first began self-isolating at Windsor Castle. The couple was recently able to travel up to Balmoral, the Queen's Scottish estate, for their annual summer vacation—albeit with some modifications for safety—but it doesn't seem a return to Buckingham Palace is in the cards anytime soon.
A new report in the Sunday Times claims that the Queen won't be back at her London residence "for the foreseeable future," in what is thought to be her longest absence from Buckingham Palace in her decades-long reign. Instead, once she comes back from Balmoral, she'll once again stay at Windsor Castle, commuting to engagements and events in London if deemed safe. According to the report, the monarch won't move back into the palace "until the threat from coronavirus has lifted."
"There is a desire to get Buckingham Palace up and running again as a working palace, but only if all the relevant advice suggests that it is appropriate to do so," a royal source told the publication.
Instead, the Queen is relying on maintaining "bubbles" of staff to minimize the risk of exposure. She and Philip were able to travel to Balmoral in part because of this system, and the Times reports that the royals plan to utilize the same system during the monarch's Christmas break, so that she can stay at Sandringham as usual.
But while the Queen might not move back to London for some time, other royals are reportedly heading back "soon," including Prince Charles and Camilla and Prince William and Kate Middleton, who'll resume residence at Clarence House and Kensington Palace, respectively.
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