Queen and Prince Philip leave Norfolk to spend lockdown at Windsor
- Credit: PAUL JOHN BAYFIELD
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have returned to Windsor Castle together, ready for England’s second national lockdown.
Buckingham Palace said the royal couple travelled to Berkshire from the Sandringham estate on Monday - three days before the month-long restrictions come into force.
If the new measures last longer than a month, their departure could mean the Royal Family will not be spending Christmas in Norfolk.
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Prince Philip has spent most of his time at Wood Farm, a remote part of the estate overlooking The Wash at Wolferton, since retiring from public life three years ago.
His decision to accompany the Queen to Windsor and return to HMS Bubble - the nickname for their reduced household of staff - came after the Government’s announcement on Saturday of the new lockdown in England in a bid to reverse the spread of coronavirus.
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The Queen and Philip are just over a fortnight away from marking their 73rd wedding anniversary on November 20.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the duke’s move to Windsor had been planned for a while.
If comes after it emerged that Prince William had been infected with coronavirus.
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The 38-year-old Duke of Cambridge reportedly contracted the virus in April, a month after his father Prince Charles was diagnosed with Covid, from which he recovered after isolating in Scotland.
News that the Queen and Prince Philip have left Sandringham leaves question marks over the Royal Family’s arrangements for Christmas.
Social distancing rules would presumably preclude the usual gathering of 30 or so members at Sandringham House if not lifted by the festive season.
They would also mean well-wishers would not be allowed to line the path to Sandringham Church to greet the Queen and members of her family as they attend the Christmas Day service.
Buckingham Palace has said no decisions have yet been taken. But ministers appeared to be indicating that the current lockdown, which is due to last until December 2, could continue for longer if infection rates do not fall.