Queen Elizabeth beat COVID-19 and is making big changes to how the royal family works. It looks like she’s decided to leave Buckingham Palace for good. Here’s what’s going on.
The Royal Tradition
Buckingham Palace dates back to the Middle Ages. William the Conqueror bequeathed the land to the monks of Westminster Abbey. King Henry VIII grasped ownership in 1536, and the first house was built in 1703. It became a palace when Queen Charlotte moved there decades later. It didn’t become the proper royal residence until Queen Victoria decided to move in 1837.
We see some echoes in history if you look at Victoria’s relationship to the palace. When her beloved Prince Albert died in 1861, Victoria withdrew from the public and moved away from Buckingham Palace. She began living in other castles including Windsor Castle. While she did eventually return to London, she never lived there full time again. Even still, the precedent was set that Buckingham Palace should be the home of the reigning monarch.
Elizabeth Stepping Away
The reverberation of history is being felt. Queen Elizabeth has decided to leave Buckingham Palace forever and will instead make Windsor Castle her permanent home. Her primary reason, according to The Times, is the death of her beloved Prince Philip. It’s spooky how history repeats itself. It’s worth noting that there’s been no official announcement from the palace, while other sources insist Buckingham Palace will remain the central point of operations for the monarchy.
Philip and Elizabeth isolated at the palace during COVID-19, so she has strong memories of being there. Furthermore, she’s 95 and just beat the virus. At her age, she deserves to go where she’ll be the most comfortable. It looks like Buckingham Palace will remain vacant until Prince Charles and Camila Parker Bowles eventually move in.
She May Have Never Liked It
Any viewers of The Crown may perk up at this news. Per Penny Junor in her royal biography The Firm, Elizabeth never actually wanted to move into Buckingham Palace. The book and later the show explain that she wanted to stay at Clarence House, but Winston Churchill talked her out of it.
Junor wrote, “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.” His insistence worked, for Elizabeth has lived there on and off for a very long time. One would hope she got used to it.