Jetting off on their staycation! Queen and Prince Philip arrive at RAF Northolt ahead of a flight to Balmoral to start their summer holiday after months isolating at Windsor Castle
- The Queen, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, flew up to Balmoral this afternoon
- The couple will remain at the Aberdeenshire estate until early October
- They were seen arriving at RAF Northolt, in west London, in the back of a car
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are en route to Balmoral for the start of their summer holiday.
The couple, who have been isolating at Windsor Castle since March, arrived by car at RAF Northolt, west London, this afternoon ahead of their private flight to Aberdeenshire, where they will remain until early October.
The Queen, 94, looked typically elegant in a powder blue jacket and dress as she arrived at the airfield in the back of a chauffeur-driven car. The Duke of Edinburgh, 98, was dapper in a yellow collard shirt and green jumper.
It was previously reported that a group of aides have already travelled up to the sprawling 50,000-acre estate to prepare the castle for the couple’s arrival.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are en route to Balmoral for the start of their summer holiday. The couple were seen arriving at RAF Northolt, west London, ahead of their flight
It is understood staff quarantined for two weeks in order to minimise the risk of the Queen or Prince Philip, who are both in their 90s, being exposed to Covid-19.
Previous reports suggest the hand-picked team of royal aides 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 staff will minimise their contact with people outside the royal household in order to create a ‘Balmoral bubble’ designed to keep the Queen and Prince Philip safe.
Measures will also be taken if any family members come to visit.
It is thought visiting royals, who typically include the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex, will maintain social distancing while on site.
Family members will not stay in the castle with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh as they have done in previous years and will instead be housed in other properties in the grounds of the 50,000-acre estate.
They will be able to meet her for outside activities instead including walks, horse riding and picnics.
A group of aides have already travelled up to the Scottish home of the Royal Family to prepare the castle for the couple’s arrival. They will live in the main castle, pictured
Previous reports suggest staff have been banned from social activity and the annual Ghillies Ball has also been cancelled due to coronavirus.
An insider told the Mail on Sunday ‘stir-crazy’ aides are staying in the New Block, a dull granite building with a dozen bedrooms outside near the castle.
The insider said: ‘Without all the normal facilities which make a stay pleasant for staff, everyone’s saying it’s like being in Colditz, the prisoner of war camp.
‘It’s the assignment from hell because there is absolutely nothing people can do. The social club remains shut and the staff bar closed. With so little to do they’re going stir-crazy.’
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are expected to fly to Balmoral today for the start of their summer holiday. Pictured, the couple in June at Windsor Castle