The Queen’s annual trip to Balmoral IS going ahead despite earlier fears the guidelines on moving between England and Scotland might scupper the three-month holiday
- Queen and Prince Philip are reportedly set to fly to the castle around August 1
- They may stay in the Scottish Highlands for up to three monthsCouple have spent past 15 weeks shielding from COVID-19 at Windsor Castle
- Was thought that monarch may not go to Balmoral because of official guidelines
- They advise against non-essential travel between England and Scotland
The Queen and Prince Philip are expected to spend the summer at Balmoral after it was feared that guidelines on moving between England and Scotland might scupper the annual stay.
The monarch, 94, and her husband, 99, are reportedly set to fly to the castle, in the Scottish highlands, where they may stay for up to three months.
Royal sources told The Sun that Her Majesty and Philip will leave around August 1, when coronavirus shielding guidelines will be lifted.
The Queen and Prince Philip are expected to spend the summer at Balmoral after it was feared that guidelines on moving between England and Scotland might scupper the annual stay
The Queen and the Duke have spent the past 15 weeks shielding from COVID-19 at Windsor Castle.
It was previously thought that current guidelines advising against non-essential travel between England and Scotland might force the Queen to cancel the annual trip to Balmoral.
But a royal source told The Sun that the trip is going ahead.
‘Preparations are well under way.
‘Everything will be checked and double-checked to ensure there is no risk.
The source added that it has helped that Scotland has recorded very few coronavirus deaths in recent days. Three new deaths were reported on Tuesday.
The Queen has spent a 12-week break at Balmoral for each of the past 68 years of her reign.
Since the coronavirus crisis started, Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh have been in joint isolation at Windsor Castle since the start of lockdown in March.
The monarch, 94, and her husband, 99, are reportedly set to fly to the castle, in the Scottish highlands, where they may stay for up to three months
The couple have been cared for by a devoted team of staff who provide a protective shield – dubbed ‘HMS Bubble’ – around them.
The staff are split into two groups of 12 who work away from their families on a ‘three weeks on, three weeks off’ basis, the Sun reported.
Royal staff, including chefs, cleaners and officials, spend two weeks at home and a third week in quarantine during their time away from Windsor, it was said.
Under strict measures to protect the monarch, each employee is then tested for Covid-19 and has their temperature taken before they can begin another three-week rotation.
Those involved in the Queen’s security operation include her favourite page Paul Whybrew – with whom she is so comfortable that they often watch TV together, and who co-starred in her James Bond skit for the London Olympics Opening Ceremony.
Residents of Scotland and England have been encouraged not to travel between the two nations because there are different lockdown measures in each.
Royal sources said Her Majesty and Philip will leave around August 1, when coronavirus shielding guidelines will be lifted. Pictured, the Queen in Balmoral last year
While holiday accommodation has started to open up in England, allowing people to book staycations, they remain closed in Scotland. The earliest this is expected to change is July 15.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall recently moved from Birkhall, on the Balmoral estate, to their London home of Clarence House as they lead the royal family in returning to public engagements after lockdown.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge remain at Anmer Hall, Norfolk, with their three children, Prince George, six, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two.
Scotland continues to take a more cautious approach to lifting restrictions and remains in phase 2 of its plan, while England has progressed to stage 3.
On Monday Nicola Sturgeon announced she would allow beer gardens and non-essential shops to re-open from next month – and three family groups to meet indoors.
The Queen and the Duke have spent the past 15 weeks shielding from COVID-19 at Windsor Castle
The First Minister announced to the Scottish Parliament that she was following Boris Johnson’s example in England and relaxing restrictions introduced in March.
But the changes will come into effect more slowly than south of the border, where they will be introduced on July 4.
In Scotland, beer gardens can reopen on July 6, non-essential shops within indoor shopping centres from July 13.
And in a step that goes further than measures revealed by the Prime Minister yesterday, households will be able to meet indoors with people from up to two other households from July 15.
The Queen marks what would have been the Ceremony of the Keys on Instagram
The Queen marked the annual Ceremony of the Keys on Instagram yesterday after the event was cancelled due to COVID-19.
The Royal Family shared photos of the Queen, 94, taking part in the ceremony in recent years, alongside a lengthy caption.
The ceremony typically takes place in the forecourt of Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh and marks the start of a week-long stay in the city, known as Holyrood Week.
The Queen marked the ancient Ceremony of the Keys on Instagram yesterday after the event was cancelled due to COVID-19. The Royal Family shared photos of the ceremony in recent years (one pictured), along with a lengthy caption explaining the tradition
As part of the Ceremony of the Keys, the Queen is welcomed into the city of Edinburgh, Her Majesty’s ‘ancient and hereditary kingdom of Scotland’, by the Lord Provost, who offers her the keys of the city. Pictured, the Queen receiving the keys at a previous ceremony
However this year the ceremony, and the subsequent visit, have been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
As part of the Ceremony of the Keys, the Queen is welcomed into the city of Edinburgh, Her Majesty’s ‘ancient and hereditary kingdom of Scotland’, by the Lord Provost, who offers her the keys of the city.
The monarch then ceremoniously returns the keys, entrusting them to the elected officials of the city.
She also inspects a guard of honour, provided by the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
The Queen at the Ceremony of the Keys in Edinburgh in 2018, which she attended with the Duke of Edinburgh. The couple remain in isolation at Windsor Castle
Holyrood week celebrates Scottish culture, history and achievement.
There is an Investiture during the week, held in the Great Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which is located at the end of the Royal Mile in the centre of Edinburgh.
The Investiture recognises Scottish residents who have made a significant contribution to their society.
A Garden Party is held, where The Queen welcomes around 8,000 people from all walks of Scottish life to spend a relaxed afternoon with her in the beautiful grounds of the Palace.
Apart from these regular engagements, The Queen also undertakes a number of regional Scottish engagements which vary from year to year.
As part of the ceremony the Queen inspects a guard of honour, provided by the Royal Regiment of Scotland. Pictured, the Queen at a previous Ceremony of the Keys
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