Thursday, 1 Oct 2020

Prince Philip: Duke forced to let go of independent life in royal shake up

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The Queen, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, normally live very independent lives, but due to coronavirus restrictions they have been isolating together due to old age. Elderly are more at risk of falling seriously ill if infected with the virus and to protect them, the couple were moved from their main residences to Windsor Castle in March.

The Queen is usually based at Buckingham Palace from Mondays to Thursdays as she is still a full-time working royal.

Normally her weekends are spent at the Berkshire-based castle.

Prince Philip, however, usually spends his time at Wood Farm on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

The Duke of Edinburgh moved to the farm after retiring in 2017.

According to sources, Philip is keen to return to his main residence, but coronavirus restrictions won’t allow for it.

The source told The Sun: “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.”

To keep safe, the royal couple have cut their staff down to just around a dozen people.

The couple, however, have found a compromise and will stay at Wood Farm for the next couple of weeks.

At the end of the month, they will return to Windsor Castle.

Normally, the Queen and Prince Philip would only reunite for special events due to the monarch’s busy schedule.

Philip moved to Wood Farm in 2017, after completing 22,219 solo engagements for the Royal Family.

The Duke of Edinburgh is said to enjoy much quieter pursuits at the farm, such as reading and painting watercolours.

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In particular, he is said to enjoy being master of his own time and living away from cameras.

However, the prolonged stay at Windsor Castle appeared to have inspired the Duke of Edinburgh earlier this year.

In April, after spending a month with the Queen, Philip issued his first public statement since his retirement.

In his statement, Prince Philip thanked key workers who have been making sure the country runs as normally as possible.

He said: “As we approach World Immunisation Week, I wanted to recognise the vital and urgent work being done by so many to tackle the pandemic.

“By those in the medical and scientific professions, at universities and research institutions, all united in working to protect us from COVID-19.

“On behalf of those of us who remain safe and at home, I also wanted to thank all key workers who ensure the infrastructure of our life continues.

“The staff and volunteers working in food production and distribution, those keeping postal and delivery services going, and those ensuring the rubbish continues to be collected.”

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