Queen Elizabeth knighted Captain Tom, a 100-year-old veteran raising millions for UK health charities during COVID-19.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are departing this week from Balmoral Castle, their residence in a remote highland area of Scotland, to spend about a month at their Sandringham Estate before the Queen returns to Windsor Castle in October, Buckingham Palace confirmed to USA TODAY.
The royals will “spend time privately on the Sandringham Estate” in Norfolk, England, a Buckingham Palace statement revealed Monday morning, noting that their schedule is “subject to the finalization of the autumn program.”
The Queen and her husband had been staying at Balmoral, the royal family’s usual summer residence, after spending most of their time in coronavirus quarantine since mid-March at Windsor Castle, just outside London. Guided tours of Balmoral, open to the public, begin Oct. 3, according to the castle’s official website.
Depending on “all relevant guidance and advice,” the Queen intends to return to Windsor next month and will “resume the use of Buckingham Palace for selected audiences and engagements.”
In this file photo from June 1, 2020, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip pose for a photo in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh’s 99th birthday. (Photo: Steve Parsons, AP)
Under normal circumstances, the queen spends only about a third of her time during the year at Buckingham Palace, dividing her time between the London palace and Windsor Castle, where she generally spends weekends. The royal family spends Christmastime at Sandringham and sometimes visits during the year, too.
More: Queen Elizabeth’s horse wins at Royal Ascot but she wasn’t there for first time in reign
Queen Elizabeth has made few public appearances amid the coronavirus shutdown, though, like her children and grandchildren, she has waded into the world of virtual Zoom engagements.
She and Prince Philip appeared in socially-distanced wedding photos with Princess Beatrice, who wed Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in July in a small family ceremony in Windsor after their original May wedding date was postponed due to coronavirus concerns.
Later that month, Prince Philip made a five-minute appearance outside Windsor Castle for the ceremonial handover of his role as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles military regiment to his daughter-in-law, Duchess Camilla of Cornwall.
New photos of the Queen and her husband were released in June ahead of Philip’s 99th birthday on June 10, which they celebrated in a low-key fashion at Windsor Castle. Queen Elizabeth, who turned 94 in April, also had a reduced celebration at Windsor in June, when her birthday is usually commemorated with Trooping the Colour. This year, she marked her official birthday with a reduced celebration including a military ceremony in her first official public appearance since lockdown measures were imposed in March.
In May, the palace released photos of the 94-year-old queen’s first public appearance since she headed into quarantine, riding Fern, her 14-year-old Fell pony and bypassing a protective helmet.
Contributing: Maria Puente
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