Prince Philip & Queen Elizabeth live ‘separate lives’ but they talk on the phone

The Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend Royal Windsor Cup

Today is Prince Philip’s 98th birthday. Perhaps he’ll celebrate with some cake and a nice seatbelt-less drive, who knows. That’s the point of this story – no one really knows what Philip is up to these days. He skipped Trooping the Colour for the second year in a row, he completely ghosted the Trump sh-tshow and he’s been spending less time with the Queen in general over the past year. Philip retired from public life two years ago, and despite whatever else you could say about him, he actually DID work. He worked in the military and he worked in public service for decades. He earned his retirement. But upon his 98th birthday, of course people wonder if he even spends much time with the Queen anymore.

Prince Philip celebrates his birthday on Monday amid claims by royal experts that the Duke of Edinburgh is leading a separate life to the Queen and living “miles apart”.The Duke of Edinburgh turns 98, two years after announcing his retirement from royal life. But although he may mark the big day with his wife, royal watchers claim the pair are “leading separate lives” and don’t see each other “for weeks”. It had previously been claimed the couple have settled into this “new rhythm” of married life and are spending more time apart in their later years.

A royal source explained that “the Queen feels the Duke has earned a proper retirement. She knows him too well, if he was still at the centre of royal life he’d feel he had to be involved. Being at Wood Farm means that he’s not too far away, but far enough to be able to relax.”

Joe Little, editor of Majesty Magazine, said: “As reasonably well-documented, the Duke divides his time between Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate and Windsor Castle, more Norfolk than Berkshire because things are more relaxed there. Consequently he is away from the Queen for weeks sometimes, but they speak every day on the phone.”

Philip has reportedly set up a retirement base at Wood Farm cottage on his and the Queen’s Sandringham Estate in leafy Norfolk. Charlie Proctor, editor of Royal Central, told Daily Star Online that Philip spends little time at Buckingham Palace. He said: “Unlike most married couples, The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh often live miles apart, with Prince Philip spending hardly any time at Buckingham Palace these days. This is down to the fact that he is now retired and would rather live in one of his other homes. Buckingham Palace has always been viewed as a workplace by the Duke. It is in the middle of noisy Central London, and perhaps doesn’t offer the same peaceful tranquility as Windsor Castle or Sandringham House. Buckingham Palace is the monarch’s official working residence. As our 93-year-old Queen is still working, this is where she will spend the majority of her time in her workplace.”

[From The Daily Express]

I think it is what it is. Just as Philip has earned the right to retirement – especially given his health issues – the Queen has earned the right to have a somewhat separate life away from him. Granted, I don’t know the Queen, but I know a lot of older people and after 71 years of marriage, I totally believe that the Queen likes to have a rest from her husband too. She has her dogs and her kids and her grandchildren and a staff of hundreds. She’s not lonely. If anything, I bet Philip’s absence from Buckingham Palace has brought her even closer to her kids and grandchildren. The Queen seems especially close to both Anne and Charles these days, right? As for Philip… happy birthday to him.

Guardsmen return to the Palace at Trooping the Colour on Saturday 8 June 2019

The British Royal Family attends Trooping the Colour Ceremony

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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56 Responses to “Prince Philip & Queen Elizabeth live ‘separate lives’ but they talk on the phone”

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  1. T.Fanty says:

    Oh no – the Queen did it before GOOP. How will Gwynnie spin this one?

    • Snowslow says:

      No. Her Majesty prospectively copied Goop. How dare you?

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Hahahaha – comment of the day!

      Poor goopy, being outdone by real royalty how will she recover.

    • Thea says:

      My grandparents beat them both. They live in separate countries for months, then live together, then apart, and so on so on.

      • Still_Sarah says:

        I don’t know about your grand parents but in an era that did not allow divorce, this seems like a reasonable alternative. And people often had to move away from their families for work.

      • Thea says:

        They were very much in love and coupled up. It was just that my grandpa preferred living in California and my grandma liked it in Thailand. But my grandpa would go back to Thailand to live with my grandma and then come back to California, then go back, and so on so forth. My grandma would come to California when she wanted to see her kids and grandkids.

  2. Snowslow says:

    How Gwyneth Paltrow of her.

    • RoyalBlue says:

      Ha! Indeed. I raise my eyebrow at that arrangement and equate it to my grandparents, who although married till death, never divorced, and maintained separate bedrooms when his cheating ways came to light.

  3. TheOriginalMia says:

    This is the equivalent of living in separate bedrooms. QEII likes Windsor Castle and Phillip prefers Wood Farm/Sandringham. Not a big deal at all.

    • Becks1 says:

      Agreed. I am sure they will prob both go to Balmoral this summer.

    • Lauren says:

      She also has to travel more and be near London, so they aren’t going to be able to spend time together no matter the state of their marriage.

      They’re probably fine.

    • Monicack says:

      He’s also had mistresses for decades. There’s that. Apparently the queen stopped caring some time in the 1970s.

    • Maria says:

      It is typical but not the equivalent of separate bedrooms by any means.

      Correct me if I am wrong but Philip had a very chequered background, through no fault of his own, but as a result he had no money and no real place in society. His marriage prospects weren’t great. Princess Elizabeth was the most eligible royal bride at the time, and was set on him, and his uncle Dickie encouraged him not to waste the opportunity as he wouldn’t get a better offer.
      I’m sure they loved each other and he enjoyed having a family, but it’s never been an equal emotional relationship by anyone’s accounts. They’re a great team for the monarchy and the UK, which is what matters but it’s not as lovey-dovey as people portray.

  4. Kate D Kack says:

    This may sound pretty BUT I am kinda glad the Queen is miserable in her marriage and probably always has been.
    The monarchy does NOTHING for the less fortunate and homeless. I could give a rat’s ass about HER happiness.
    I cannot believe the English people put up with this outdated somewhat racist tax evading asshole institution.

    • Kim says:

      Horrible thing to say. Whatever you have to think about her “role” she has sacrificed a lot to do it and continues to it, even at 93 years old.
      Also, they support a number of charities, especially the Prince’s Trust.

    • Bella DuPont says:

      (Whispers) Pssst! @Kate

      Wishing a little old lady in her mid ’90′s misery, is kind of ass-holey too…..

    • Jan says:

      Wow, really. Are you always such a ray of sunshine? The woman has done just fine representing her country for many years. Take a chill pill.

      • Mash says:

        @Jan @ Bella Dupont watev (your name means) @Kim

        Kate has a point as a person of color i really could GAF about these outdated racist institution holders/colonizers im glad she miserable but its unfortunate that they get to retire in the lap of luxury PAID with the resources, lives, and land holding/colonies. Stop trying to make this granny and gramps coupling happen…

        all european monarchies are lapped in blood, and you all know it

      • NewKay says:

        @Mash- I just came to say you took the words right out of my mouth. You are spot on.

      • NewKay says:

        @Mash- I just came to say you took the words right out of my mouth. You are spot on.

    • grumpy says:

      Your criticism might be more valid if you actually knew what the name of the country is.

  5. Citresse says:

    It was nice Philip lived to see baby Archie…I was seriously wondering if he’d make it.

    • PrincessK says:

      I was surprised too. It may have been a coded message from the Queen as a rebuff to all the nasty anti Meghan stories. The picture was iconic in my view.

  6. Christin says:

    Time is a valuable, irreplaceable commodity. Sounds like they are each living where they wish or need to be, and are fine with it.

  7. hrh says:

    Jesus are all the couples in the world living separate lives? What even is the point? Maybe I’m just too traditional.

    • SNAP says:

      I used to be traditional in my marriage views, too…then life happened. It sure made me more flexible in my views and in ways i never thought i’d change. If it works for the queen and it helps them enjoy their time together, then i guess it can’t be that bad.

    • Still_Sarah says:

      @ hrh : I’ve never been married and I’m almost sixty now. But I agree with you it’s hard to understand. I was in my thirties when married girlfriends with kids started quietly telling me that I had made “the right choice” by staying single and childless. I have to say these comments influenced my choice to continue that way. Getting married has been added to my bucket list but over fifty things are on the list and I know I won’t get to all of them. It’s more a matter of curiosity really – I don’t just want to rely on other people’s experience.

  8. Dtab says:

    In fairness, the Queen looks like a fine strong woman for her age, on the flip side Prince Philip looks like he died about 5 years ago. So I don’t blame him for hiding out.

    • ME says:

      I’m wrong for laughing at your comment but hahaha that was funny. Hey I don’t blame her for wanting to have her own bedroom. If she rolled over on him, he’s done !

    • L84Tea says:

      I feel terrible but I am dying laughing over this comment! :-D

    • Some chick says:

      One word: Kryolan

      A little dab of Kryolan under the eyes would do wonders! IDK if the stri-vectin dark circle stuff does anything, but I can testify to the miracles a bit of concealer can work. (And there’s none better than Kryolan.)

    • WineGrrl says:

      L84Tea, I’m terrible too.

  9. S says:

    While this probably isn’t uncommon amongst people of their “set,” many of whom are together as much by decree as choice, my experience with couples who have been married 50 years or more (and believe it not, I’ve known at least 7 couples married 60+ years), is that they grow closer and closer to one another, rather than farther apart. The simple act of having lived so much of their lives together makes them inseperable in old age, in a way they might not even have been when they were young. (And we later learned two of the long-term marriages I mentioned had experienced infidelity at some point.) Of course, none of those couples had a crown, multiple estates, and a staff of hundreds, but I think it’s rather sad that a couple together this long aren’t better bonded, if even only via time and a shared exprience that no one but each other could ever understand.

  10. Lightpurple says:

    There is a 90 year old living in my home. I have several relatives over the age of 90. Often Even “healthy” nonagenarians need some assistance to go about daily activities. And the body’s rhythms can seem completely out of whack with everyone else’s. Separated, Phillip can probably get the care he probably needs while the Queen can get the assistance she needs to be as productive as she can be.

  11. Andrea says:

    My parents haven’t slept in the same bed for well over 20 years, my mom sleeps on the couch! They get double beds when they stay in a hotel. They are 70 and 77.

    • S says:

      In my experience, lots of older couples chose to sleep in separate bedrooms, often due to health issues, but separate bedrooms and separate residences are wildly different scenarios. Not being next to each other when you sleep vs not being around one another for weeks on end, are wildly different scenarios.

      At 98, it’s totally possible that Prince Phillip is receiving near constant care that they don’t want made public, but given their wealth and iron fisted control, they could do that anywhere, and the most likely truth is that they’re apart, because they want to be apart, which given how long they’ve been married, their longevity and just everything they’ve gone through as a couple, happy or not, is rather sad.

      • Betsy says:

        That is what is sounds like to me, too.

      • Vanessa says:

        This is very common among older couples isn’t it? Health and sleeping issues can make it very hard to share a bed as people age.
        Phil is 98, even in good health he’d have to be fairly frail. He probably has his base set up so he doesn’t have to move around much, and can have regular health checks/attention. Clearly, the queen just isn’t at that stage yet.
        I don’t think we need to get too alarmist about their marriage, seems like they’re in it for the long haul :-/

    • NotThatMo says:

      At the assisted living place my parents are moving to, they have had to do a complete renovation because everyone moving in wants separate bedrooms! So many couples have one partner move to the guest bedroom at some point. It’s proven that people sleep better alone in a bed. With my parents it started when my dad began wanting to fall asleep with the TV on.

      But what jumped into my head reading the post was one of my mother’s friend’s comment that retirement is half the money and twice the husband. Not QE’s situation regarding the money, but the twice the husband may have been close to the truth.

    • PrincessK says:

      I think this article is being very economical with the truth. The Queen and Philip have lead separate lives for years, before he retired. Even in Buckingham Palace they led separate lives. His retirement has allowed him to live in Wood Farm, where l think his very long term companion Penny is a very frequent visitor.

      The Queen has put up with him for years and now the separation is more permanent and he doesn’t have to follow her on public engagements she has been looking happier and younger.

  12. BayTampaBay says:

    Maybe Prince Philip requires round-the-clock nursing care or custodial care. If QEII was not queen then Phillip would probably be in a very upscale nursing home. Wood Farm make sense for the privacy of the patient, Prince Phillip. QEII will never retire so she will probably pass at Buck House or Windsor. The BRF have never led so called “normal lives” even when compared to the very rich titled aristocrats of the UK because they are ROYAL. Happy birthday Phil enjoy Wood Farm!

    • Chrissyms says:

      Ya, this is likely the scanario. 98 is SO OLD. He probably needs a lot of help with everything and the Queen is still working. Maybe it is dementia…or the starts of it. People change a lot in their old age. They are still married. Honestly the Queen working as much as she does at her age is totally amazing. My grandma is 90 and just entered a home and dementia is just starting to set in. I can’t imagine her keeping the queens schedule or making those kinds of appearances. It is really something. My Grandma was healthy until she was 87 ish. Being in one’s 90′s is just a lot to deal with health wise.

    • Megan says:

      If he does need a lot of care he probably appreciates the privacy of Wood Farm.

    • Karen says:

      It’s possible that getting severely bounced around in that car accident is now having an affect on him. I knew an older woman in her 80′s who did great in her everyday life. She had a fall. She didnt break any bones or hit her head. It severely changed her quality of life.

  13. Lowrider says:

    I mean, he allegedly cheated on her throughout the marriage. They have been acting like a committed married couple for decades. All PR.

  14. Chrissyms says:

    I am crossing my fingers for the leaked audio of these phone conversations. I truly wonder what they converse about. Maybe they would surprise us all….phone sex? lol

    • Skylark says:

      I want to know what Philip’s Intimacy teacher said.

      I’d also like a leak of Queenie’s call to Philip at the end of the trump banquet evening, her in her pjs and slippers, gin in hand, both of them cackling loudly into the night as she regales him with ‘bigly’ tidbits of what passed for engaging conversation. I’d particularly like to listen in on the conversation that followed this pronouncement from trump:

      ‘People had never seen the Queen have a better time.’

      I’m sure the laughter following the above can still be heard echoing across Berkshire.

      • Some chick says:

        He said that?!

        Of course he did.

        She Did her Duty. As she does. It was obvious to everyone else. What a buffoon!

        On behalf of the States, I’d like to apologize to the UK, the Commonwealth, the Queen, Charles, Camilla, William, Kate, Harry, Meghan, everyone at the state banquet, and even the bloody courtiers. Sorry!!!

      • Still_Sarah says:

        Yeah, people never saw her having a better time …… when she finally got to leave! Boy, she practically did a jig to the car then 😂

  15. Evie says:

    Phillip is 98 years old. So he’s got to be somewhat frail. And as others have said, he probably needs assistance and care for his routine daily care. AND let’s not forget, he was just in that car accident, for God’s sake! He was lucky he wasn’t killed and that the people in the other vehicle (including the nine month old child) weren’t seriously injured. But I’m sure, that shook him up even though he was seen driving again a few days later. While Phillip has been enormously long lived, healthy and resilient, 98 is still 98. The fact is we don’t know what his mental or physical state is like these days. Several of my friends have parents or grandparents who are in their early or mid-90s and it’s heartbreaking to see the physical and mental declines among these once vital people when they have to be moved into assisted living facilities or nursing homes.

    As for Queen Elizabeth, she is amazingly vital at 93. I don’t know how she does it.

    • Swack says:

      I come from a line of women that have lived well into their 90′s. My one aunt churned butter until by hand until she was 85 or so. She also cooked full meals for her husband, grandchildren and great grandchildren the day she died – she went to bed that night and passed away at 95 (no ill health at the time). So I guess QEII being that active does not surprise me. My grandmother was put into a nursing home (no assisted living places at the time) and she thrived in the environment. She was a nosy person and she new everything that was going on in the home – she had her mental facilities until she died. But I can see them having Phillip in a secluded home for his privacy.

      • Evie says:

        @Swack: Raising a glass to your Aunt and Grandmother! I too, had a Great Aunt who was vital and healthy right up until she had a stroke at 97 and passed away a couple of days later from another stroke. I also had another Great Aunt who was hale and hearty, living on her own in a second floor walk up apartment and driving a car until she was 92 1/2 and fell and broke her hip. She went into rehab and was recovering well physically but began getting dementia and died from a stroke six months later. However, these are the exceptions rather than the rule.

        Queen Elizabeth is a marvel by anyone’s standards considering her schedule even if she is waited on hand and foot. As for Phillip, he hasn’t looked well for the past several years. I’m amazed that he was able to carry working with the schedule he had for as long as he did. He and the Queen put their grandchildren to shame and make them look like a bunch of lazy loafers! Charles, Camilla and Anne are all hardworking; I’m not sure about the rest of them. I don’t see the Queen ever stepping down completely unless something dire happens like a major medical issue that forces her retirement/abdication or her death. If Charles has inherited his parents longevity, it could be 20 years before Wills becomes King. I can’t imagine him having more energy in his 50s than he does now!

  16. Maria says:

    Don’t Charles and Camilla sort of live apart. She kept her bolthole in the country and spends her off days there with reading and visits from her family. When she is in London, then she lives at Clarence House.

  17. JRenee says:

    At 98 he deserves retirement and whatever care he needs.
    TBH, I think QE deserves retirement too. She has put in a lot of time. I know she won’t retire, but she deserves to..

  18. Lala11_7 says:

    Too bad she couldn’t do it 50 years ago….