Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, has made the decision to permanently move to Windsor Castle, the ancient royal residence that has existed since William the Conqueror crossed the English Channel in 1066. It’s another sign that the monarchy is beginning the painful process of transitioning from her long and storied reign to that of King Charles III.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the Queen left her main home of Buckingham Palace in London for the seclusion of Windsor Castle, where she can be well-monitored and protected from infection. Now, it looks like that move will become permanent.
It was announced that the ancient castle will now become her permanent home and main royal residence as she continues into the twilight of her reign.
The report was made by The Times, which explained that the monarch “has come to prefer life at the castle.” She will continue to make the trip into London as necessary, but for the remainder of her long reign she will stay mostly in Windsor and continue to perform most of her duties remotely.
It makes sense, as recently Her Majesty shared that she was having more trouble physically moving.
Currently, Buckingham Palace is undergoing a £369 million renovation that will not end until 2027. The palace will once again become the main royal residence when Prince Charles becomes King, which will likely happen before the renovations are completed.
Previously, Charles had considered opening Buckingham Palace to tours year-round and making Clarence House his main residence, which would allow the monarchy to open the palace up to tours year-round. He’s reportedly abandoned this plan, understanding that the royal family’s most famous London residence has incredible influence and prestige to the public.
This permanent move to Windsor also keeps the Queen close to her family members, including the disgraced Prince Andrew, Princess Eugenie (who lives in Harry and Meghan’ former residence Frogmore) and Prince Edward and his family.
There are also rumors that the Cambridges are going to relocate into the area or perhaps even into Windsor Castle itself. This coincides with Prince George’s move from his day school to his upper-level boarding school. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are already looking in the area. In addition to being close to the Queen, Windsor is also closer to Michael and Carol Middleton, who Prince William and Catherine lean on to help with their three children.
All of this change is a reminder that the reign of King Charles III will likely occur within the next couple of years.
The shuffling of houses, especially rumors of the Cambridges considering a move, is a sign that the royal family is rethinking what the future will look like when Her Majesty’s long and storied reign comes to an end.
If Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, move to the Windsor area with their children, especially if they live within the walls of the castle itself, it’s likely that the couple will take up residence there permanently when Charles ascends. It could also explain why the couple changed their Instagram title from Kensington Palace to DukeandDuchessofCambridge.
Why have your handle be “Kensington Palace,” if you no longer live there?
This shifting is part of the process of monarchical transition, but it’s bitter sweet.
There have been three European coronations in the last year, and all have been voluntary due to tradition or scandals. The death of Queen Elizabeth will rock not only the U.K., but the entire continent. As the steadiest force in the region, and really the world in a way, her loss will be monumental. An end of an era, literally.
And the rest of the working members of the royal family will have to pick up the pieces, trying to manage the expectations of the public and the crown.