Why Queen Elizabeth Is Not Living at Buckingham Palace

Amid chatter that Queen Elizabeth II will no longer call Buckingham Palace home, a source has shared more context to the story.

When it comes to Queen Elizabeth II returning to live at Buckingham Palace, never say never. 

Amid recent reports and speculation that the monarch will no longer call Buckingham Palace home, a source tells ET not so fast. "Her Majesty continues to carry out a variety of engagements and Buckingham Palace will continue to be central base of the Monarchy," the source says, "but the reservicing project [at the Palace] still has five years to run."

The landmark building, known around the world as the home of the British monarchy, has been undergoing a major renovation that began in 2017 and isn't estimated to be done until 2027. "The Palace's electrical cabling, plumbing and heating have not been updated since the 1950s. The building's infrastructure is in urgent need of a complete overhaul to prevent long-term damage to the building and its contents," the royal family's website reads. "The most cost-effective way to replace these essential services, and to ensure that The Palace is fit for purpose for the next 50 years, is to undertake a phased program of works over 10 years. The program will realize a series of long term financial and environmental benefits, as well as improvements to visitor access. The Palace will remain occupied and fully operational for the duration."

Queen Elizabeth and her late husband, Prince Philip, left Buckingham Palace for Windsor Castle when the coronavirus pandemic first began to escalate in March 2020. 

For her first in-person appearance since recovering from COVID-19, the sovereign met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau inside Windsor Castle this week. The two were photographed greeting each other in front of a floral arrangement of blue and yellow flowers, the colors of the Ukrainian flag. 

While the palace will not comment on the flowers possibly serving as a symbol of support for Ukraine amid Russia's ongoing attack, a source told ET, "Very little tends to happen by accident."

Days earlier, a Buckingham Palace source confirmed to ET that the queen made a generous donation privately to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian appeal. "This is unusual for the royal family," the source said, "as they typically stay out of politics and don’t provide monetary support."