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
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.