The Queen's bittersweet return to London home Buckingham Palace

The monarch primarily lives at Windsor Castle

Nichola Murphy

Following the death of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen has been living at Windsor Castle – and has even since named it as her primary residence. She also spent much of the COVID-19 lockdown at the Berkshire property.

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However, the monarch is set to return to Buckingham Palace for the second time in a year - after a brief visit in November - for the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday. The visit will be a bittersweet occasion for the Queen, since it will be her first major public ceremonial duty since Prince Philip's passing and she is usually accompanied by him. 

Instead, the 95-year-old will be joined by her son Prince Charles and his wife Duchess Camilla. 

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It is not clear how long Her Majesty will be staying at Buckingham Palace, but it was previously reported by The Daily Mail that she had made the decision to leave her official London residence in favour of Windsor.

It was claimed that while the monarch will return to London for work, it is unlikely that she will ever spend another night at the palace – however, there may be exceptions.

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She is still expected to summer at Balmoral and spend Christmas at Sandringham, as is tradition.



Although the home boasts 775 rooms, a chapel, a post office, a movie theatre and an indoor swimming pool, the Queen didn't actually want to live there when she first moved in.

As reported by royal biographer Penny Junor in her book The Firm, the Queen wanted to remain living at Clarence House after her father's death, but it was Sir Winston Churchill who pushed the move to Buckingham Palace.


Her Majesty has been living at Windsor Castle since Prince Philip passed away

It reads: "None of them wanted to go. They loved Clarence House; it was a family home, but Winston Churchill, who was then Prime Minister, insisted upon it."

For the State Opening of Parliament, which will only have 108 attendees instead of up to 600 due to COVID-19, the Queen will travel from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster by car. She will then mark the beginning of the parliamentary session by delivering the Queen’s Speech, which sets out the Government’s legislative plans.

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