For a solid week, royal reporters have been talking about how the Queen and Prince Philip are cutting their Balmoral holiday “short” and how they’ll be returning to separate residences when that happens. It’s a little bit tricky actually – the palace people moved Philip from Wood Farm (in Sandringham) to Windsor Castle at the start of the pandemic, mostly as a cost-cutting measure, so guards could create a “bubble” around both of them together. That was the most time they’d spent together in years. Then they traveled to Balmoral together, and now they’re cutting the vacation short. The original plan was for the Queen to return to Windsor Castle, then commute to Buckingham Palace occasionally this fall, to do some events. The plan was for Philip to return to Wood Farm:
After isolating together amid the coronavirus pandemic since March, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will soon head to different royal residences. Later this month, the royal couple will depart Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where they typically spend their summer break, to “spend time privately on the Sandringham Estate” in Norfolk, a palace spokesperson confirmed to PEOPLE Tuesday. They added that it’s the Queen’s “intention” to return to Windsor Castle in October, visiting Buckingham Palace in London for “selected audiences and engagements.”
When the monarch, 94, returns to Windsor, where the couple spent much of the spring and summer amid the coronavirus pandemic, Prince Philip will stay in Sandringham at Wood Farm. The 99-year-old royal, who retired from public life in August 2017 after 64 years of service, spends most of his time at the estate located about 100 miles north of London in Norfolk while the Queen carries out her royal duties in London.
Despite their separation, the staff is said to be creating a special bubble so the Queen and Prince Philip can safely visit each other in the coming months. Wood Farm is a five-bedroom home that has been Philip’s main residence since his retirement.
“It is certainly true that Wood Farm is the one royal home where the Queen feels she can escape from the pressures of monarchy and being under the spotlight,” Richard Kay wrote in The Daily Mail. “There are far fewer of the rituals that govern her life: Philip has seen to that. The staff, for example, do not always have to wear royal livery — and it is the one residence where the Queen is likely to be seen in the kitchen.”
I mean… it sounds like Liz and Phil feel like they’ve spent enough time together and they’re sick of each other (to the point where she’s cutting out on the Balmoral holiday) and that Philip desperately wants to go back to Wood Farm. Unfortunately, the original plan had to be scrapped, because there are not enough security people to create two bubbles:
Prince Philip will join the Queen at Windsor Castle because the Royals do not have enough staff for them to live apart, The Sun understands. The Queen, 94, and Duke of Edinburgh, 99, arrive at Sandringham on Monday for a two-week break before a return to “HMS Bubble” at Windsor Castle. Prince Philip wanted to stay at Sandringham but there are too few royal staff to create two bubbles 130-miles apart, insiders revealed.
Instead, they are said to be staying at Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate as a “compromise” before returning together to Windsor.
A source said: “Philip didn’t want to go to Balmoral and doesn’t want to go to Windsor. But there is not enough staff to make two bubbles so he is being made to go. It makes far more sense to keep them together.”
The Duke usually lives at Wood Farm cottage when the Queen is working at Windsor. HMS Bubble requires 24 staff working in two teams of 12 on ‘three weeks on and three weeks off’ with a further week in quarantine. The Queen and Duke spent six months together due to lockdown – one of the longest periods during their 72-year marriage. And have privately vowed to try and spend more time together.
All of this is dripping with such old-fart bitterness, I love it. I mean, I feel like a 99-year-old man should get to just stay wherever he wants too. It’s not like he needs 20 people around him anyway. The fact that the Queen thought it would be a brilliant idea to go to Balmoral like usual, then try to force Philip to stay in the Sandringham main house with her… I mean, this is the year to break those ancient habits, especially when Philip is being constantly forced to move away from the quiet life he wanted on Wood Farm. Something tells me that Liz and Phil have not been getting along at all during the pandemic too.
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