Her Majesty The Queen and Prince Philip travelled from Windsor Castle in Berkshire to Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire this week for their annual trip to the Scottish Highlands. However, things will not be normal for The Queen and Prince Philip this year as they experience life in a ‘Balmoral Bubble’.
Courtiers have spent the last few weeks planning for The Queen and Prince Philip’s arrival and how a new Balmoral trip would look and it is far from business as usual.
At the moment, The Queen will not be able to attend Church nor will visiting members of The Royal Family be able to stay in the main house alongside her and The Duke of Edinburgh. Local staff have also had to self-isolate for two weeks prior to Her Majesty’s visit to ensure they are free of the COVID-19 virus.
It has also been reported that the Prime Minister’s annual visit to Balmoral has also been cancelled – for, it seems, the first time ever in The Queen’s reign. The news of the cancellation of this visit comes just hours after it was reported that Boris Johnson and his fiancée, Carrie Symonds, would be spending two weeks on holiday in Scotland with their four month old son, Wilfred.
Fortunately, the ‘Balmoral Bubble’ will not affect The Queen’s love of horses as she will still be able to go out riding though only one groom will be allowed access to her steeds.
The Queen’s red boxes will also be sanitised before she works through them however The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and the staff inside the bubble will not be required to wear masks as they are all in such close contact anyway and the amount of staff working has been dramatically reduced.
A source commented, “A small number of staff have travelled from Windsor to Balmoral, where effectively a new bubble has been created. Procedures are in place to mitigate any kind of risk. No one has to wear masks in the bubble, as they are deemed safe as one household. It’s not the normal Balmoral but they’ll try and make it as normal and enjoyable as possible.”
The Queen and Prince Philip took a flight from RAF Northolt on Tuesday to travel to Balmoral following nearly four months in isolation at Windsor Castle.
Photo: Titanic Belfast