Queen and Duke of Edinburgh head for Sandringham

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh Credit: PA

The Queen is heading for Sandringham this week after a summer break at Balmoral Castle.

Along with the Duke of Edinburgh, the 94-year-old monarch will leave her retreat in Aberdeenshire and go to Sandringham to "spend time privately", Buckingham Palace said.

A palace spokesman said the Queen intends to return to Windsor Castle in Berkshire next month and begin using Buckingham Palace again for royal engagements.

It is not yet known whether 99-year-old Philip will remain on the Sandringham estate when the Queen returns to Windsor, or whether he will join the monarch at the Berkshire castle where they spent the lockdown.

The trip to Balmoral was the first time the Queen and Philip travelled away from Windsor since relocating from Buckingham Palace in March.

"Subject to the finalisation of the autumn programme, Her Majesty's intention is to return to Windsor Castle in October and to resume the use of Buckingham Palace for selected audiences and engagements", a palace spokesman said.

"These plans will be kept under review and will of course be subject to all relevant guidance and advice."