Queen Elizabeth II, 95, is now unlikely to ever move back to Buckingham Palace … and people have thoughts.
When the pandemic began, the British monarch moved full-time to one of her other residences, Windsor Castle (an hour’s drive from London). The Sunday Times revealed earlier this week that two years down the line, she’s not likely to spend a night again at Buckingham Palace.
The palace is undergoing a ten-year renovation, so its next occupants will likely be Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, with Charles next in line to the throne.
The Queen has long been known to favor her Windsor home. However, news she’s fully vacating Buckingham Palace comes in the same week that the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said Britons were welcome to house Ukraine refugees in their homes.
The war in Ukraine has prompted a humanitarian crisis, and 2.5million inhabitants of the country are now believed to have fled. Many LGBTQ citizens have had to flee to countries such as Hungary and Poland, which have both cracked down on LGBTQ rights in recent years.
The UK has been criticized for not taking many Ukrainian refugees compared to other European countries, and for making the visa process overly complicated for those fleeing the war. It’s estimated it has only issued 1,000 visas to those who already have family in the UK.
Johnson told Sky News the visa process would be simplified and extended in the coming days, and that “if people want to welcome [them] into their own homes, they can do so”.
Many people immediately offered the same solution.
775 rooms at Buckingham Palace apparently. Ideal opportunity to help address the refugee and housing crises? pic.twitter.com/WlNVcoSTUB
— Will Austin (@WillAustin1964) March 10, 2022
Here’s an idea. Now that the Queen has moved out of Buckingham Palace, perhaps some of its 775 rooms could be used to house #UkraineRefugees
— Sean Smith (@SeanSmithCeleb) March 10, 2022
— Patrick Maher (@patrickmaher85) March 11, 2022
Happy to offer my spare room, but maybe we could commandeer Buckingham Palace? No one’s using it 🤷🏼♀️ https://t.co/GM5WL0MYO3
— Violet (@VitriolicViolet) March 11, 2022
Royal Family’s contribution during Pandemic has been zilch. Said or done nothing to stop @BorisJohnson‘s slaughtering of his own people. An empty Buckingham Palace seems an ideal location for ma’am to contribute to helping Ukrainian refugees in their hour of need. Bet she doesn’t
— Matthew Payne (@Matthew82069336) March 11, 2022
There are 775 rooms in Buckingham Palace, and the Queen only uses *six* of those. That’s 769 rooms that could house refugees. Let’s see the Royal Family step up. How many politicians are putting up refugees in their empty second homes?https://t.co/vvE6FTpnHL
— 千卂丨乙卂几 (@f__tweets) March 11, 2022
BREAKING: As the prime minister asks the British public to open their homes to Ukrainian refugees, the Queen remains very fucking quiet about Buckingham Palace x
— Laura Kuenssberg Translator (@BBCLauraKT) March 11, 2022
The Royal Family famously does not speak out on political issues, although they have made an exception over Ukraine. Prince Charles has called Russia’s attack on Ukraine “unconscionable” and met with refugees.
Prince William and his wife Kate visited a Ukrainian cultural center on Wednesday and William said, “Everyone is horrified by what they are seeing. It’s really horrifying.”
The Queen has not made any comment, but when she met with Canada’s Justin Trudeau earlier this week, she pointedly had a big vase of yellow and blue flowers in her room. A palace source said the choice of colors—the same of the Ukraine flag—was unlikely to be accidental.