In the past, followers of the royal family have wondered why Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip don’t live together. The answer is surprisingly simple, according to one royal biographer.
While the Queen, 94, and the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, are both currently hunkered down at Windsor Castle, it actually isn’t typical for the royal couple to live together. Rather, the couple has decided to reside at Windsor together again only after Britain entered its second lockdown, palace officials confirmed on November 5. Staying at Windsor Castle isn’t so different for the Queen, who often splits her time between the castle and Buckingham Palace to carry out her duties as monarch. But this is a big change for Prince Philip, on the other hand.
It may come as a surprise to hear that the Duke usually spends his days living at Wood Farm at the royal family’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England—where he’s lived, for the most part, ever since retiring from his duties in 2017. For those worrying, just know that Prince Philip’s reasons for living at Wood Farm don’t come down to any kind of feud with his wife! According to Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of royal magazine Majesty and author of Prince Philip Revealed: A Man of His Century, living at the Sandringham Estate is simply because the space is more “comfortable” for him in his old age.
Speaking on an episode of the podcast “Pod Save the Queen,” Seward revealed that Philip much prefers the quiet pace of Norfolk to the palace. “Philip loves Norfolk,” she explained to Mirror editor, Zoe Forsey. “There is a lovely place in Norfolk called Wood Farm where the Queen and all the Royal Family stay when they don’t want to open what they call the ‘big house,’ the big house at Sandringham. And Philip loves it there and it sort of works for him.”
She continued, “It’s very small – comparatively small, it wouldn’t be small to us, it’s a beautiful beamed farmhouse, it wouldn’t be small to us – but for them, it’s cozy, it’s intimate.” At Wood Farm, Seward says Prince Philip can often be found enjoying simpler pleasures like reading books and watching television—basically anything that doesn’t leave him “surrounded by lots of footmen and flunkies” like he would be at Windsor Castle or the palace.
“I think the Queen just thought he would be more peaceful there,” Seward added. “And when somebody is at that great age, she wants him to be comfortable. And it was as simple as that.”
It’s unclear how much time Philip has spent at Wood Farm this year, given the royal family’s decision for him to join the Queen at Windsor Castle in March. He spent the following months quarantining with the Queen. While Express reports that the pair parted ways for a short time after “restrictions eased in the summer,” the Duke of Edinburgh is now officially back with Her Majesty at Windsor as the country enters its second national lockdown.
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