Why the Queen and Prince Philip could part ways after his 100th birthday

Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh usually live in separate residences

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend The OUT-SOURCING Inc Royal Windsor Cup 2018 polo match at Guards Polo Club on June 24, 2018 in Egham
(Image credit: Photo by Antony Jones/Getty Images)

The Queen and Prince Philip have been spending the UK’s lockdown together at Windsor Castle, though its thought possible they could part ways for their separate residences this summer.

The Queen and Prince Philip will have been married for an impressive 74 years this November. The devoted couple have been each other’s constant companions throughout the Queen’s 69-year-long reign, and have been a vital source of support throughout the challenges posed by the pandemic. However, despite being based at Windsor Castle together since autumn last year, this cohabitation hasn’t been customary for the royal couple in recent years. 

Why don’t the Queen and Prince Philip live together?

Whilst the Queen and Prince Philip’s strong marriage seems to be one of great love and respect, his retirement in 2017 made them unable to live together for practical reasons. This is due to the fact that the Queen remains a working royal, based at Buckingham Palace in London in normal circumstances. 

The 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh made Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk his main home after retiring. It is at Sandringham House on the estate that the Queen and the wider Royal Family typically celebrate Christmas and where the Queen usually remains until February, following the sad anniversary of her late father King George VI’s death.

The geographical distance between Buckingham Palace and the Sandringham Estate has meant that since Prince Philip’s retirement, he and the Queen have likely grown accustomed to spending some time apart from each other.

The Queen has previously described Prince Philip as her 'strength and stay', but now that he is retired, they're sadly not able to spend as much time together. Though it's believed that they spoke on the phone every day when they were not living together.

Why could Prince Philip and the Queen part ways this summer?

With the UK now in its third lockdown, royal fans have started to look optimistically ahead to this summer, where two very significant royal birthdays will take place - the Queen’s 95th birthday and Prince Philip’s 100th birthday. 

Prince Philip is expected to mark this important milestone with extended Royal Family members, Covid-19 restrictions allowing. Whilst it’s reportedly hoped that the Trooping the Color parade for the Queen’s birthday will go ahead on June 12, just two days later. 

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Louis of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth II watch a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

This memorable parade delights royal fans as the Royal Family gathers on the Buckingham Palace balcony to watch the RAF flypast. Royals who usually attend include the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla, along with many others.

One notable absence in recent years has been Prince Philip and it could be that he will not make an appearance there this year either. It’s thought possible that the Duke of Edinburgh could instead return to Wood Farm following his own birthday on June 10.

If this does turn out to be the case, the next time he is likely to be reunited with the Queen is at Balmoral. An annual summer visit to Balmoral is a well-established royal tradition and the monarch and her husband have reportedly visited every summer of her reign.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!