Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have returned to Buckingham Palace today after their traditional two-month summer holiday at their highland retreat, Balmoral Castle. The Queen and Prince Philip are set to start off The Queen’s baton relay from Buckingham Palace’s forecourt tomorrow morning.
The Royal Standard was raised above Buckingham Palace today upon The Queen’s return for the first time in over two months. Because of Her Majesty’s return, the number of sentries stood on guard on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace doubled from 2 to 4 and guards also went on duty at nearby St James’s Palace due to The Queen taking up residence.
The Queen’s return was organised for today to avoid the spotlight at the football match Prince William held yesterday in the Palace’s gardens. Accompanied by the Duchess of Gloucester, Prince William watched Polytechnic FC beat Civil Service FC 2-1.
The Duke of Cambridge, who is President of the Football Association, joked, “one warning, though: if anyone breaks a window, you can answer to her [The Queen].”
Prince Philip returned to Buckingham Palace shortly after his engagement in Norfolk today where he visited St. Michael’s Care Complex. The Duke, 92, looks forward to returning to a ‘full diary of engagements’ according to reports.
Because of Her Majesty setting off the Queen’s Baton Relay tomorrow morning, the Changing the Guard has been postponed. The 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards will be going on guard for their 48-hour duty without the musical support of the Band and Corps of Drums of the Grenadier Guards.
On Thursday, The Queen will host her first investiture for several months in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace. A few days ago, Princess Anne held an investiture on The Queen’s behalf at Windsor Castle – where she awarded broadcaster Clare Balding her CBE. Among recipients for Thursday’s investiture are Susan Lloyd-Roberts, an award winning BBC journalist who is among 5 other people receiving the Civil CBE. Three knighthoods are also to be awarded to Professor Sir Michael Stratton and Sir Brendan Barber (Knights Bachelor) and Sir Simon Fraser (KBE).
The Queen’s return to London signals the return to the usual working schedule for the Royal Family, who typically take a short amount of holiday time during the summer months. The busiest member of the Royal Family in the coming weeks is the Princess Royal, with 44 engagements from now until the end of October. The Princess Royal is also travelling to Canada for a series of military-orientated engagements in a few weeks’ time.
Whilst Her Majesty typically spends her working week at Buckingham Palace whilst in London, she will spend the weekend at Windsor Castle, which she is also expected to do this weekend.