the Queen

Who needs a palace when there’s home sweet home?

PHOTO: RICHARD KAY: Usually it is the most poignant of departures, but there will be no such wrench when the Queen leaves Balmoral later this month.

Usually it is the most poignant of departures, but there will be no such wrench when the Queen leaves Balmoral later this month.

Her stay in Scotland has been all too brief and stripped of many of the pleasures that make summer days on Royal Deeside so memorable.

Unable to welcome friends and family to stay in the castle because of Covid restrictions, she has also been deprived of the unbridled joy of the Ghillies’ Ball, the highlight of her ten-week holiday, where staff and royals let their hair down for a night of vigorous Scottish dancing.

So when she and Prince Philip say their farewells at the end of next week they will have spent little more than half their customary time north of the border.

But in an intriguing break with tradition — and as the Mail reported yesterday — the couple will head for Wood Farm, the spacious but modestly furnished house on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk where they can live the most unassuming of lives.

Usually it is the most poignant of departures, but there will be no such wrench when the Queen (pictured with Prince Philip at Balmoral in 1975) leaves Balmoral later this month

Usually it is the most poignant of departures, but there will be no such wrench when the Queen (pictured with Prince Philip at Balmoral in 1975) leaves Balmoral later this month

There they will spend another fortnight or so before Her Majesty returns to official life at Buckingham Palace.

The five-bedroom farmhouse has often been a bolt-hole away from the formalities of Palace routine. Until the pandemic it had become Philip’s main home after his 2017 retirement from formal royal duties.

He left there in March to join the Queen at Windsor, where they spent four months together with a reduced household nicknamed HMS Bubble. Their trip to Balmoral four months later was the first time they had left Windsor since before Easter.

How significant is it then that the Queen wishes to round off her summer break with a stay at this particular spot?

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