Queen Elizabeth Will Never Live at Buckingham Palace Again—Here’s Why She Has ‘No Plans’ to Return

Stay put. Queen Elizabeth’s Windsor Castle move is officially permanent, according to a new report by the Sunday Times. The outlet claims that the monarch has “no plans” to return to her former home of Buckingham Palace after spending two years at the Berkshire residence. But why?

For years, Buckingham Palace was known as the official home of the monarch. But at the onset of the pandemic, the Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, relocated to Windsor with a limited staff. While Windsor was typically more of a weekend and holiday home for the Queen, she decided to spend the majority of the pandemic at the residence as she always preferred it over Buckingham Palace. In 2005’s The Firm, author Penny Junor notes that the Queen always disliked living at Buckingham Palace. “None of them wanted to go,” Junor writes of the Queen’s family. “They loved Clarence House; it was a family home, but Winston Churchill, who was then Prime Minister, insisted upon it,” per an excerpt published by HELLO!.

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Despite her disinterest, the Queen did spend the next several decades living in the palace’s private quarters. But her part-time home of Windsor Castle retained a special significance for her. The 13-acre royal residence, located in Berkshire, was her cozy getaway—and later, it became her husband Philip’s final home.

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The Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away at the age of 99 in April 2021, spent his last moments at Windsor Castle among the Queen and family. According to The Telegraph, Philip enjoyed his final days with a blanket on his lap and the sun on his face looking out at the private grounds of the residence.

Now, with the Queen staying in Windsor, renovations at Buckingham Palace have also begun to take place. “The reservicing does not end until 2027,” a source told the Sunday Times on March 6, 2022. “While ongoing, it is not really a place to stay long-term.” Instead, the Queen’s son Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will move into Buckingham Palace when Charles becomes king.

Image: Courtesy of Random House.

Image: Courtesy of Random House.

Buy: ‘Elizabeth the Queen’ by Sally Bedell Smith $7.95+

For more about the British royal family, check out Sally Bedell Smith’s 2012 biography, Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch. The New York Times bestseller, which includes the “real story” behind several storylines featured in Netflix’s The Crown, follows Queen Elizabeth II’s life from her childhood as the “heiress presumptive” to her father, King George VI; to the moment he and her husband, Prince Philip, when she was 13 years old; to her ascension to the throne at 25 years old in 1952. Elizabeth the Queen, which also includes interviews with Buckingham Palace sources and never-before-revealed documents, provides a deep dive into the Queen’s legacy as one of the most famous monarchs in recent history.

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