The Real Reason Queen Elizabeth Is Returning to Buckingham Palace and Leaving Prince Philip Behind

After spending the majority of the pandemic in Scotland at Balmoral Castle, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have announced that they are heading to their Sandringham estate in Norfolk later this month. This is an unusual schedule change for the royal couple before they head to different residences in October. Why did they make the schedule change? And why is Her Majesty returning to Buckingham Palace and leaving Prince Philip behind after their trip to Norfolk?

Queen Elizabeth Prince Philip
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip | Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

The pandemic has forced Queen Elizabeth to completely change her schedule

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip traditionally spend their summer break at their Scottish estate, Balmoral. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to retreat to their summer residence back in March.

After six months in Scotland in what insiders call the HMS Bubble, the queen has announced her plans for the coming weeks. According to a palace spokesperson, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will leave Balmoral and head to Norfolk. They want to “spend time privately on the Sandringham Estate” before the Queen goes to Windsor Castle in October.

As royal fans know, Sandringham is traditionally the estate where the queen spends Christmas with her family. As for the Duke of Edinburgh, he will stay in Sandringham at Wood Farm when the queen heads to Windsor Castle.

While the queen is at Windsor, her intention is to visit Buckingham Palace in London for “selected audiences and engagements.”

Wood Farm has been Prince Philip’s residence since he retired from public life in 2017

Prince Philip retired from public life back in August 2017 after serving the crown for 64 years. The queen’s husband of nearly 73 years is now 99 years old. He spends the majority of his time in Sandringham at Wood Farm. The estate is located about 100 miles north of London in Norfolk.

Wood Farm is a five-bedroom home that has served as Prince Philip’s main residence since he retired. Royal expert Richard Kay wrote in The Daily Mail that Wood Farm is the one royal home where the queen feels she can “escape from the pressures of the monarchy.”

RELATED: Prince Philip Thought He Was Going to Have to Be a ‘Yes Man’ for the Rest of His Life When Elizabeth Became Queen

“There are far fewer of the rituals that govern her life: Philip has seen to that,” Kay wrote. “It is the one residence where the Queen is likely to be seen in the kitchen.”

Even though Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will be living in separate residences soon, staff will continue creating the HMS bubble so they can visit each other safely.

Queen Elizabeth usually returns to Buckingham Palace in October

Traditionally, after her annual summer break at Balmoral, Queen Elizabeth heads to her London residence at Buckingham Palace. Of course, things are different this year. But, it appears Her Majesty desires some sense of normalcy.

The months Queen Elizabeth has spent away from Buckingham Palace is unprecedented. It’s the longest Her Majesty has been away from the central seat of the monarchy during her 68 years on the throne.

“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,” an insider dished.

The reason Queen Elizabeth is returning to Buckingham Palace and leaving Prince Philip behind at Wood Farm is simple. According to Express, her return is “symbolically important” to the people of the United Kingdom.

Queen Elizabeth is coming out of self-isolation. Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams explained,

“She remains immensely popular and an indispensable symbol of national unity during this unprecedented crisis.”

“It should be emphasised that whilst she has said ‘I have to be seen to be believed’, she acts on government advice,” Fitzwilliams added.