The Queen’s Move to Windsor Castle is Permanent, Reports Say

She has lived there full-time since the beginning of the pandemic.

Queen Elizabeth
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Her Majesty relocated from her residence at Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle in March 2020, right at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Sunday Times (via the Daily Express) the Queen has not spent a night at Buckingham Palace since, and likely never will again.

The Sunday Times reports that the Queen will never fully return to Buckingham Palace, driven in large part by the £369 million refurbishments happening at the Palace, which are expected to be completed in 2027. When the renovations began, the Mirror reports, the plan was for Her Majesty to only move out of her private apartments inside the Palace temporarily. But, because of the pandemic and because of the Queen’s deep affection for Windsor, Windsor Castle will reportedly become her permanent home.

“Windsor is the place she loves,” royal author Hugo Vickers told the Sunday Times. “She has her memories with Prince Philip there, she has her ponies there and family nearby. It makes sense.”

Before his passing in April 2021, Prince Philip and the Queen spent the first year of the pandemic together at Windsor, where sources claim the couple “rediscovered the happiness of their early years together,” the Mirror reports. More recently, Her Majesty has conducted a number of engagements from Windsor, ranging from in-person meetings with dignitaries and officials to virtual audiences.

Buckingham Palace has been the official royal residence since 1837. And, though the Queen will likely never reside there again, she will return there for festivities like the Platinum Jubilee, where she will appear on the balcony of the London residence on June 2.

As for the Union Jack, which flies to signify the monarch is not at the Palace? It will remain permanently flying, the Mirror reports.

Rachel Burchfield
Contributing Royal Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.