While English royalty and Buckingham Palace have basically become synonymous, Queen Elizabeth has made a break with tradition to move in to one of her other well-known residences.
While the “downgrade” from palace to castle isn’t much of a downgrade at all, there were several practical reasons the Queen decided this was the next step for her.
The 95-year-old has spent much of her 70 years on the throne at Buckingham Palace, but Windsor Castle has been her weekend home and the place she spends certain holidays.
The Times of London reports that the palace has been experiencing a lot of “reservicing,” according to the New York Post.
The website British Heritage states that the renovations are expected to cost around $500 million and should be completed by 2027. The painstaking process of moving artifacts to allow for the work began years ago.
“Moving historic works of art in a historic interior is always complex, but this is really on a very grand scale,” senior curator of decorative arts at the Royal Collection Trust Caroline de Guitaut said.
“We’re talking about objects from paintings, to porcelain, to furniture, decorative objects, books, etcetera.”
While the hustle and bustle of renovation no doubt has had some impact on the decision, there are many other, stronger reasons for the shift.
For one, as Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire Hugo Vickers told the UK Times, the Post reported, “Windsor is the place she loves.”
“She has her memories with Prince Philip there, she has her ponies there and family nearby,” Vickers continued. “It makes sense.”
Windsor Castle is also where Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip weathered out the pandemic, and it’s the place she and her late husband spent his last days.
While Buckingham Palace has been the official residence of the royal family since 1837, the Queen will now be receiving guests and hosting official engagements at Windsor Castle.
Justin Trudeau was the first guest she received at Windsor Castle and the first in-person engagement she’s had since recovering from COVID-19.
Prince Charles, who is next in line to the throne, will likely be the next royal resident at Buckingham Palace if he becomes king.