Queen Elizabeth Reportedly ‘Never Really Liked’ Buckingham Palace: ‘It’s No Surprise She Moved,’ Royal Expert Says

Queen Elizabeth, who just celebrated her Platinum Jubilee in June, moved from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle during the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. According to one royal expert, the relocation was a long time coming since the Queen “never really liked” Buckingham Palace. Here’s what we know about the palace, Queen Elizabeth’s move, and what the expert said.

Queen Elizabeth, who lived at Buckingham Palace for most of her reign, at en event.
Queen Elizabeth II | Jane Barlow/WPA Pool/Getty Images

The importance of Queen Elizabeth’s Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace has been the official residence of the U.K.’s monarchy since 1837, according to Royal. The palace has 775 rooms, including 19 State rooms, 52 bedrooms for royals and guests, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms. The building measures 108 meters (354 feet) long, 120 meters (393 feet) deep, and 24 meters (78 feet) high. 

Several important royal events and ceremonies take place at Buckingham Palace, including entertaining foreign Heads of State and celebrating achievements. The palace has more than 50,000 guests each year, and it’s where the Queen holds weekly audiences with the Prime Minister

Queen Elizabeth ‘never really liked’ Buckingham Palace, according to a royal expert

A former Buckingham Palace employee revealed that Queen Elizabeth “never really liked” the building, so he was unsurprised when she relocated to Windsor Castle. 

Darren McGrady is a former royal chef who worked for Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace and Balmoral for 11 years. He also cooked for Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry at Kensington Palace for several years.

Speaking on behalf of Coffee Friend, McGrady revealed that the Queen has always used Buckingham Palace as more of an “office” than a home. “It’s no surprise the Queen has moved to Windsor, she’s never really liked the palace, it’s always been the office to the Queen,” the former royal chef said. “The Queen would always be whizzing off back to Windsor Castle, she can’t wait to get back there. She loves it there, so it’s no surprise she’s moved there permanently.”

The move from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle

In March, House Beautiful reported that Queen Elizabeth had permanently moved from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle. Before the move, the Queen lived in the palace for most of her 70-year reign. She had been staying at the castle, which was previously considered her “weekend residence,” since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. 

While Buckingham Palace is still the central headquarters of the monarchy, the building residence is undergoing a 10-year £369 million renovation. The project made living at the palace impractical for the Queen.  

Since Queen Elizabeth has been staying at Windsor Castle since 2020, it was the last home she shared with Prince Philip before he died in April 2021. 

“Windsor is the place she loves,” said Hugo Vickers, royal author and deputy lord lieutenant of Berkshire. “She has her memories with Prince Philip there, she has her ponies there and family nearby. It makes sense.”

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