Has The Queen Permanently Moved Out Of Buckingham Palace?

Buckingham Palace has become a symbol of the British royal family, and for good reason: According to the official royal website, the palace has been the official London residence of British royalty since 1837, and the queen's home for the past 70 years. She gave birth to Prince Charles and Prince Andrew there, and the christenings of Charles, Andrew and Princess Anne, as well as Prince William, happened in the palace's Music Room. William and Kate Middleton's wedding reception was also held at Buckingham Palace.

But since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Queen Elizabeth has opted to stay at Windsor Castle — located under 25 miles from London — and has only come back to Buckingham Palace on a few occasions. Since then, the queen has made Windsor her new home. Prince Philip's funeral was held at St. George's Chapel at Windsor, and he is buried within the castle grounds. 

And after a visit to the countryside under doctors' orders to get some rest, Elizabeth flew by helicopter right back to Windsor, per People. While she had intended to get back to London for the country's National Day of Remembrance, a sprained back forced the queen to cancel her plans. She has since returned to in-person engagements, but is carrying them out at Windsor Castle, according to Town & Country. This has all led to speculation that Elizabeth might never live at Buckingham Palace again.

Queen Elizabeth never wanted to make Buckingham Palace her home

According to The Daily Beast, Queen Elizabeth now spends most of her time at Windsor Castle, leading to speculation that she won't return to Buckingham Palace to live. In fact, sources have noted that she never wanted to live full-time at the palace in the first place. When the queen ascended the throne in, "Winston Churchill, who was then Prime Minister, insisted upon it," royal biographer Penny Junor said, according to Express. It seems like the queen wants to stay put at Windsor Castle for now, with plans to travel to London for engagements when she can, per the Daily Mail.

It seems that Elizabeth isn't the only royal who would prefer to stay out of the palace. It has been reported that Prince Charles will opt to stay in his current home, Clarence House, instead of residing in Buckingham Palace when he becomes king. And Prince William and Kate Middleton might also move to Windsor Castle to be closer to the queen. 

"I think there are a number of reasons why they might want to make such a move and absolutely proximity to the queen could be one of them," revealed royal commentator Jonathan Sacerdoti, per Express. "She's had a pretty tough year including losing Prince Philip ... If William and Kate move to be closer to her that could certainly help in that respect and indeed children there. It's always nice for anyone to be close to younger generations in the family."