The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will travel to Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire for their annual summer break in ‘early August’, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.
Her Majesty, 94, had been self-isolating in Windsor Castle since March, but is now set to travel to Scotland alongside Prince Philip, 99, next month.
Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl also revealed how Prince Charles, 71, is ‘looking forward’ to spending time with Prince William, 38, and Kate Middleton, 38, and his grandchildren Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, Prince Louis, two, during a ‘family holiday’ in Scotland in August.
Reports had previously suggested the Queen and Prince Philip were keen to get away for their annual holiday, but would remain socially-distanced from family – who will stay in separate buildings so the royal couple could stay safe from coronavirus.
Although other members of her family will join them for the traditional summer get-together this time they will not be able to get close to the monarch.
When they get to the 50,000-acre estate in Aberdeenshire she will not host them in the castle, instead staying in other properties on the grounds.
They will be able to meet her for outside activities instead including walks, horse riding and picnics.
A source said a ‘Balmoral bubble’ of staff numbering some will join the Queen and Philip.
They include Vice-Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt, master of the household; Sir Edward Young, the Queen’s private secretary, and Paul Whybrew and William Henderson, her pages.
Major Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah, her equerry; Terry Pendry, her head groom; Angela Kelly, the Queen’s personal assistant and her senior dresser; Jackie Newbold, Kelly’s PA; and three assistant dressers will also join, according to The Sunday Times.
The Queen has spent a 12-week break at Balmoral for each of the past 68 years of her reign.
Since the coronavirus crisis started, Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh have been in joint isolation at Windsor Castle since the start of lockdown in March.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall recently moved from Birkhall, on the Balmoral estate, to their London home of Clarence House as they lead the royal family in returning to public engagements after lockdown.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge remain at Anmer Hall, Norfolk, with their three children, Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two.
The news emerges hours after Prince Philip performed a rare public engagement as he formally handed over his role as Colonel-in-Chief of the infantry regiment The Rifles to the Duchess of Cornwall.
The Duke has been closely associated with The Rifles and its earlier regiments for almost 70 years, but he has now handed over his role to Camilla. Amid extreme social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, she took part in the second half of the ceremony 100 miles away, at her Highgrove home in Gloucestershire, in a similar event.
Today, Philip stepped out of the castle’s Equerries Entrance, smart in his blazer, regimental tie and highly polished brogues, cheerily waving his hand.
The royal – who is a patron, president or a member of more than 780 organisations – has been officially retired since 2017,