Prince Philip is ‘being made’ to return to Windsor Castle with the Queen because there is not enough staff to create two anti-Covid-19 bubbles, a royal source told The Sun.
The Duke of Edinburgh, 99, usually resides at Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk while Her Majesty, 94, is working at Windsor.
However, the source claimed it makes ‘far more sense’ to keep the royal couple together to protect them from coronavirus.
The Queen and her husband will arrive at Sandringham this week for a fortnight break before their return to ‘HMS Bubble’ at Windsor, which is said to be a ‘compromise’.
Prince Philip (pictured in July) is ‘being made’ to return to Windsor Castle with the Queen because there is not enough staff to create two anti-Covid-19 bubbles, a royal source has claimed
‘Philip didn’t want to go to Balmoral and doesn’t want to go to Windsor,’ the source told the publication.
‘But there is not enough staff to make two bubbles so he is being made to go. It makes far more sense to keep them together.’
A memo issued to staff in April from the master of the household Tony Johnstone-Burt, a former Royal Navy Officer called the mission to protect the Queen and Prince Philip ‘HMS Bubble’.
The bubble requires 24 dedicated employees which work in two teams of 12, with a three week on, three week off rota. Staff are forced to spend a week in isolation and pass a coronavirus test before each three week shift begins.
Although the Duke wishes to remain at Sandringham, insiders claim there are too few staff to create two bubbles 130 miles apart.
The Queen and her husband (pictured ahead of Philip’s 99th birthday in June) will arrive at Sandringham this week for a fortnight break before their return to ‘HMS Bubble’ at Windsor, which is said to be a ‘compromise’
Femail has contacted Buckingham Palace for comment.
Today it was reported the Queen will return to public duties in time to lead the nation at Remembrance Day ‘come hell or high water’.
Her Majesty has been unable to take part in public engagements since March due to the coronavirus. She continued to hold weekly calls with the Prime Minister, and did hold a socially-distance birthday party.
Her Majesty also stepped out to give NHS fundraising hero Captain Tom Moore a knighthood, and to attend Princess Beatrice’s wedding.
But but royal insiders expect she will end her summer break early by returning to work at Buckingham Palace in October.
Her Majesty also stepped out to give NHS fundraising hero Captain Tom Moore a knighthood, and to attend Princess Beatrice’s wedding
A palace source told The Sun she ‘fully intends to be at the Cenotaph,’ on November 8, adding: ‘The Queen wants to be leading from the front. Remembrance Sunday is a hugely important day for the country and for her personally.’
Her Majesty was seen wiping away a tear during last year’s Remembrance Sunday as she watched alongside Camilla and Kate.
Yesterday the Mail on Sunday revealed the traditional Royal Christmas celebration faces being scrapped if the current Covid-19 ‘rule of six’ regulations continue.
The Queen, Prince Charles and senior Royals will be unlikely to walk to church in public on Christmas Day, enjoy a family lunch at Sandringham or take part in the long-established Christmas Eve present opening and dinner.
The ‘rule of six’, which limits almost all indoor and outdoor gatherings to half a dozen from today, may mean the Queen, like everyone else, will have to choose who she spends the festive period with.
The Queen and Prince Philip (left) also came out of isolation to attend the wedding of Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in July (pictured)
When the crackdown was announced last week, Boris Johnson was unable to guarantee that the rules would be gone by Christmas.
Courtiers are understood to be reluctant to encourage crowds, where infections become more likely, so could torpedo plans for the traditional walk to St Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham estate.
Last year, some 1,500 well-wishers flocked to see Prince George and Princess Charlotte attend their first public service and greet the crowds.
The Queen’s custom of hosting about 30 of her closest family for lunch at the Norfolk estate before watching her speech to the nation is also under threat.