Queen and Prince Philip heading to Sandringham in last-minute move from Balmoral

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The Queen and Prince Philip are returning to Sandringham three weeks earlier than scheduled.

She is swapping Balmoral for Philip's five-bedroom house on the Norfolk estate.

It marks a change for the monarch who normally heads straight to Windsor Castle from their Scottish castle summer retreat. It is believed the Queen wants to spend more time with her husband, who turned 99 in June.

While the monarch is at Sandringham, her royal staff will be working on a way to travel safely between the estate and Windsor Castle.

Palace officials are in the process of creating a special "bubble" between the two sites.

This is so that when the 94-year-old Queen returns to the castle in early October and travels to her limited duties at Buckingham Palace, she and Philip can still go between their residences and see each other.

Philip retired from public duties in 2017 and has since preferred to spend his time at the Wood Farm cottage at Sandringham.

Since then, the couple spent much of their time apart – until the coronavirus lockdown in March this year.

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Sources have suggested the Queen and Philip are now enjoying their unexpected time together so much that it led to the change of plans.

Although her official schedule is yet to be concerned, it is thought the Queen could be at Wood Farm for up to a month.

Normally she would remain at Balmoral until the second week of October before dividing her time between Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace for official engagements.

A source said: "This is something that they have been planning for a while and will enable them to create a new bubble in order to continue to see each other while Her Majesty commutes between Windsor and Buckingham Palace for official duties."

Buckingham Palace confirmed: "Her Majesty's intention is to return to Windsor Castle in October."

  • Queen
  • Prince Philip
  • Royal Family

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