The Queen and Prince Philip have been seen leaving Balmoral Estate together today for their new bubble at Sandringham, as they continue to enjoy spending unprecendented amount of time together
The royal couple, who have spent the last six weeks at their Aberdeenshire home, waved to photographers as they were whisked away by car for the airport, roughly an hour away, where they boarded a private jet.
The Queen, 94, and her husband, 99, are now set to travel to Sandringham for a fortnight break before their return to ‘HMS Bubble’ at Windsor, with reports claiming Prince Philip is ‘being made’ to return to Windsor Castle because there is not enough staff to create two anti-Covid-19 bubbles.
Meanwhile Prince Andrew, 61, was also seen departing from the estate after spending roughly two weeks with his parents, amid claims he had been visiting his 94-year-old mother for ‘crisis talks’.
The Queen, 94, and Prince Phillip, 99, offered a wave as they departed from their Balmoral estate at the of end their annual summer holiday in Scotland
The Duke of Edinburgh raised a hand in greeting as the couple were whisked away from their summer holiday break
Meanwhile Prince Andrew, 61, who is believed to have spent two weeks with his parents at the estate, also departed earlier today
The royal couple appeared in high spirits and waved to photographers as they departed the Balmoral Estate today for the airport.
The Queen donned a smart cream suit for the journey, with a white patterned headscarf, while her husband opted for a relaxed yellow shirt and comfortable waterproof navy coat.
They were followed by royal aides carrying luggage and a pair of dorgis, the Queen’s beloved dogs which are a cross between a dachshund and a Welsh corgi.
The monarch and Duke of Edinburgh typically remain at Balmoral, in Aberdeenshire, until next month but surprised many royal fans by leaving early and spending time at Sandringham instead.
She and Philip are now due to travel to Norfolk together to ‘spend time privately’ at the their estate, where the Duke spends much of his retirement at Wood Farm.
An insider told The Sun last week that Prince Philip would also return to Windsor after a two week break at Sandringham as ‘a compromise’, adding: ‘Philip didn’t want to go to Balmoral and doesn’t want to go to Windsor.
‘But there is not enough staff to make two bubbles so he is being made to go. It makes far more sense to keep them together.’
The Queen and Prince Philip later arrived at the airport in Aberdeenshire, where they boarded a private jet before departing from Scotland
The Duke of Edinburgh, who has spent the last six weeks in Balmoral Estate, was followed by royal aides as he stepped out of the car at the airport
The royal, pictured, could be seen carefully walking around the edge of his car to meet his wife before stepping onto the private aircraft
Royal aides could be seen carrying bags and luggage for the couple, while one member of staff assisted with the dorgisin the boot of the car
A royal aide could be seen bowing as the Queen stepped out of the vehicle shortly after the Duke of Edinburgh
A memo issued to staff in April from the master of the household Tony Johnstone-Burt, a former Royal Navy Officer called the mission to protect the Queen and Prince Philip ‘HMS Bubble’.
The bubble requires 24 dedicated employees which work in two teams of 12, with a three week on, three week off rota. Staff are forced to spend a week in isolation and pass a coronavirus test before each three week shift begins.
Although the Duke wishes to remain at Sandringham, insiders claim there are too few staff to create two bubbles 130 miles apart.
The Palace confirmed the Queen hopes to resume ‘selected audiences and engagements’ in London in October for the first time since the coronavirus crisis struck the UK in March.
The Queen will then return to Windsor in October, from where she will travel to Buckingham Palace for working visits.
In a statement confirming the news last week, the Palace 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 royal couple raised a hand in greeting as they were whisked off to an airport in Aberdeenshire, roughly one hour from Balmoral estate
Prince Philip and the Queen have spent six weeks at their Scottish home, and will now return to Sandringham, where the Duke of Edinburgh spends most of his time
Earlier today, their second eldest son Prince Andrew could be seen leaving the estate amid claims was visiting his 94-year-old mother for ‘crisis talks’.
Femail has contacted Buckingham Palace for comment.
Prince Andrew was also seen leaving Balmoral today after reports suggested he journeyed up to Scotland for crisis talks.
He has been accused of failing to help US prosecutors in their investigation into paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein and the financier Ghislaine Maxwell.
A source told the Sun: ‘The Queen and Andrew will have lots to discuss. So much has come out over the summer.
‘The Queen wants to be kept informed and she will not be back at Windsor until early October.’
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived at Balmoral, in Aberdeenshire, at the start of August and have enjoyed visits from family in the weeks since.
The monarch’s annual holiday to Balmoral has been a little different this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It is understood staff quarantined for two weeks in order to minimise the risk of the Queen or Prince Philip, who are both in their 90s, being exposed to Covid-19
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived at Balmoral (pictured), in Aberdeenshire, at the start of August and have enjoyed visits from family in the weeks since. Stock image
It is thought staff also minimised their contact with people outside the royal household in order to create a ‘Balmoral bubble’ designed to keep the Queen and Prince Philip safe.
Measures were also taken by other members of the royal family who came to visit.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have spent time on the estate, as have Princess Anne and Prince Andrew.
But family members did not stay in the castle with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh as they had done in previous years and were instead housed in other properties in the grounds of the 50,000-acre estate.
They were able to meet the royal couple for outside activities instead including walks, horse riding and picnics.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will now spend at least two weeks ‘privately’ at Sandringham (pictured)
It comes following reports that the Queen is set to make Windsor Castle her main home and won’t resume residence at Buckingham Palace this year, according to a royal source.
Her Majesty would like to ‘commute’ to London for engagements if it is safe to do so, the Sunday Times reported.
It is believed the Queen’s absence from Buckingham Palace will be her longest during her 68-year reign.
The Queen would usually go back to the premises in October following her summer break in Balmoral.
It is believed that proposals are being reviewed for how the Queen (pictured in March) could safely attend commemorations at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday in November
Instead, following her time in Sandringham, she will return to Windsor Castle where she self-isolated with the Duke of Edinburgh from March 19 prior to their Scottish holiday.
A royal source said: ‘There is a desire to get Buckingham Palace up and running again as a working palace, but only if all the relevant advice suggests that it is appropriate to do so.’
It is believed that proposals are being reviewed for how the Queen could safely attend commemorations at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday in November.
But Her Majesty apparently won’t be returning to Buckingham Palace again until the threat from COVID-19 is extinguished.
However, it is thought that the Queen will be spending her usual Christmas break at Sandringham in Norfolk.