Queen to resume royal engagements at Buckingham Palace in October after months of shielding

Monarch left London in March as a precautionary measure

Sarah Young
Wednesday 09 September 2020 09:51
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The Queen is returning to work at Buckingham Palace in October, it has been confirmed.

On March 19, the monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh left London, just days before the nationwide lockdown was introduced.

The 94-year-old suspended all official duties in the capital and moved to Windsor Castle as a precautionary measure amid coronavirus outbreak.

But she is now planning to return to palace to resume “selected audiences and engagements”.

According to a palace spokesperson, the Queen and Prince Philip will be cutting their summer break in Balmoral short and move to Sandringham Estate next week.

The royal couple will leave the royal Aberdeenshire retreat, where they have been staying since early August, and go to Sandringham to “spend time privately” for the rest of the month, Buckingham Palace said.

The Queen is planning to return to Windsor Castle in Berkshire next month and will resume certain duties at Buckingham Palace.

“The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will depart Balmoral Castle during the week commencing September 14 to spend time privately on the Sandringham Estate,” the spokesperson said.

“Subject to the finalisation of the autumn programme, Her Majesty’s intention is to return to Windsor Castle in October and to resume the use of Buckingham Palace for selected audiences and engagements.

“These plans will be kept under review and will of course be subject to all relevant guidance and advice.”

It is not yet known whether the 99-year-old duke will remain on the Sandringham estate when the Queen returns to Windsor, or if he will join the monarch at the Berkshire castle where they stayed during lockdown.

The decision to relocate the royal couple was made amid an increased risk of more severe symptoms from coronavirus for the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions.

The Queen and Prince Philip, who are understood to be in good health, were be based at Windsor with a reduced number of staff and followed appropriate advice from their medical household and the government.

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