London: The UK’s Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip are set to move to Balmoral next month for a socially-distanced holiday with family after four months in isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, media reports said.
The 94-year-old monarch has been in self-isolation in the Windsor Castle for four months, reportedly shielding from all but a handful of relatives and close friends, the Metro newspaper said in a report on Sunday.
Members of the royal family will meet for their annual summer gathering at Balmoral in Scotland, but they will stay in separate lodgings on the Highlands estate.
The Queen will not host guests in the castle but will join them for walks, shoots, picnics and barbecues, according to The Sunday Times.
It’s believed she will be accompanied by several new staff added to the 22-strong team who continued to work at Windsor Castle throughout lockdown.
The move is scheduled for early August but may be cancelled if safety issues or coronavirus rule changes arise.
The Queen has spent 12 weeks at Balmoral every summer for each of her 68 years on the throne, though she usually heads up earlier in the summer, reports the Metro newspaper.
Saturday marked her 25,000th day on the throne.
The Queen’s first public engagement took place on Friday when she knighted the 100-year-old Tom Moore, who raised nearly 33 million pounds for NHS charities by walking laps around his garden.
Buckingham Palace has declined to comment on the Queen’s arrangements, calling it a “private time”.