THE QUEEN will come out of lockdown and return to work at Buckingham Palace next month, it has been confirmed.

The monarch, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, will depart Balmoral Castle during the week commencing on September 14.

Initially, they will spend time privately on the Sandringham Estate, Buckingham Palace said.

Her Majesty then plans to return to Windsor Castle and resume the use of Buckingham Palace for official engagements in October.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "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.

"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."

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh arrived at Balmoral, in Aberdeenshire, at the start of August and have enjoyed visits from family in the weeks since. 

Before going to Scotland, they were protected for months during lockdown at Windsor Castle by a ring-of-steel dubbed HMS Bubble.

Her 24 servants were split into two teams of 12 who worked three weeks on, three weeks off, at the height of the pandemic.

They had to spend a week in enforced quarantine before they returned from leave.

During lockdown, the guards could not meet their own families so that Prince Philip and The Queen could be protected.

An insider said at the time: “Her senior staff, including her private secretary Sir Edward Young, and his assistants have all moved into the castle.

“They won’t be seeing their families because no risks can be taken and they can’t go in and out.

“The most important thing is to protect the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh from the virus.

“If something happened to them it doesn’t bear thinking about.”

Insiders say the lockdown triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic has brought The Queen and Prince Philip as close as any time in their 72-year marriage.

Philip has also managed to pull the Royal Family together to help his wife through some of the toughest times of her reign.

Since they were shielding together at Windsor Castle, they have spent more time together than ever.

Sources say the Duke, who has largely retired from public life, has privately given her the strength to carry on.

Aides now believe having Philip by the Queen’s side throughout lockdown has sparked their desire to never be apart for long periods again.

A source said: “Everyone who has seen her recently says the Queen appears to have a new lease of life because she loved the chance to spend quality time with Philip again.

“Obviously she has been gravely worried about the nation during the pandemic but those around her have seen how amazing they have been together."

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