Queen saw Buckingham Palace ‘less and less her home’ ahead of tragic ‘wake-up call’

The Queen has barely lived at Buckingham Palace over the past two years and she could be making a permanent move.

Queen Elizabeth II attends a garden party at Buckingham Palace on May 19, 2016 in London, England
(Image credit: Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen reportedly saw Buckingham Palace as “less and less her home” over recent years, but losing Prince Philip was a “wake up call” about her royal residence. 

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the Queen spent most of her time at her historic Berkshire home, Windsor Castle, accompanied by her beloved late husband, Prince Philip. Now, almost a year since his death and with restrictions eased in the UK, she’s continued to conduct her duties from Windsor. It’s thought that Her Majesty hasn’t spent a night at Buckingham Palace since March 2020. 

And it seems that a permanent change of scene is just what she’s looking for as reports have suggested the Queen is leaving Buckingham Palace for Windsor Castle for good. If the monarch does make Windsor Castle her new primary home, it would mean that two of the Queen’s children remain close by, with Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex at Bagshot Park and Prince Andrew at the Royal Lodge

And according to royal expert Duncan Larcombe, the Queen’s major move could’ve been a long time coming…

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle

(Image credit: Bettmann via Getty)

He has suggested to OK! magazine that far from being a sudden decision, Buckingham Palace has been feeling “less and less her home” since Prince Philip retired. Though it was the Duke’s death in April 2021 that was reportedly a “wake up call” for the monarch.

Duncan claimed, "Sometimes these things are a wake up call. In the last 10 or 15 years, The Queen would always leave Buckingham Palace on a Thursday, spend the weekend at Windsor and then be back at her desk and staying in her private apartment.

"But I think it became less and less her home from home because, as the Duke of Edinburgh retired from official duties, it was really Sandringham, Windsor and Balmoral where he spent his time.”

Queen Elizabeth II, The Queen, and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, watch the flypast over The Mall

(Image credit: Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

Reflecting on the reports that the Queen has decided to make the move to Berkshire official, the royal expert reflected on the importance of being able to conduct her duties from somewhere she feels “most comfortable”. 

"I think being surrounded by and being able to work from the place that you love and the place where you feel most comfortable is important when The Queen is 95 and, frankly, should be doing everything she can to make life less of a strain and more comfortable for her,” he said. 

If she does remain at Windsor Castle, not only could she feel more "comfortable" there, but the palace likely holds many precious memories of Prince Philip too. 

Queen Elizabeth II records the Commonwealth Day Message in the Regency Room at Buckingham Palace on February 11, 2010

(Image credit: Photo by Lewis Whyld-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Duncan believes that whilst Buckingham Palace remains an impressive landmark, it was “never really” the monarch’s home, but her “offices”.

"When you looked at Buckingham Palace you thought that you were looking at the home of The Queen but what you're actually looking at is The Queen's offices,” he explained. "Buckingham Palace has never really been her home, it's always been Windsor.”

With the Queen facing an even more hectic year than ever as she prepares for the Platinum Jubilee 2022 celebrations in June, the thought that she's conducting her duties from a place that truly feels like home is heart-warming. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.