The Queen, 94, and husband Prince Philip, 98, have now spent weeks together at Windsor Castle after the British Government introduced strict social distancing measures due to the coronavirus crisis last month. The Queen arrived at the Berkshire-based castle on March 19 and was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh shortly after. The couple usually live apart and only reunite at Windsor for the Easter holidays.
However, the couple has now been under the same roof for more than a month, something very out of the ordinary for this time of year.
The 98-year-old Duke usually prefers to spend his time at Wood Farm on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk.
Prince Philip, who the Queen has described as her “constant strength”, moved to the farm after retiring in 2017.
Philip is said to enjoy much quieter pursuits at the farm, such as reading and painting watercolours.
In particular, he is said to enjoy being master of his own time and living away from cameras, according to an old friend.
Had it not been for the coronavirus outbreak, Philip would likely have been back at Wood Farm, while the Queen would have returned to Buckingham Palace, where she still lives and works full time.
But lockdown measures mean Prince Philip will remain at Windsor Castle with his wife.
The Queen does not see Philip very often anymore after his retirement.
The Duke of Edinburgh stepped back from royal duties at the age of 96 after completing 22,219 solo engagements.
He is also patron of 785 organisations and continues to be associated with them.
The prolonged stay at Windsor Castle with the Queen appears to have inspired the Duke of Edinburgh, who recently 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.
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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.”
Prince Philip and the Queen have been living in their private apartments during the lockdown.
To keep safe, the royal couple have cut their staff down to just around a dozen people.
The Queen has reportedly been spending time working, reading newspapers and catching up with family over video messages.
According to The Times, a source revealed the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh get on well and always enjoy each other’s company.
The two catch up with regular phone calls even while spending time apart.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh married on November 20, 1947 at Westminster Abbey and marked their platinum wedding anniversary in 2017.
The royal couple have four children, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.