Windsor Castle staff who care for the queen in ‘HMS Bubble’ are forced to spend a week in isolation and take a coronavirus test before each three-week shift begins.
The monarch, 94, went into isolation on the Berkshire estate nine weeks ago with her husband Prince Philip, 98, who moved out of Sandringham during the pandemic.
They are joined by a team of 24 dedicated employees, who work to provide a protective shield around Elizabeth and Philip, whom Windsor Castle colleagues call ‘HMS Bubble’.
The staff is split into two groups of 12 who work on a ‘three weeks after, three weeks off’ basis from their family, the Sun reported.
The royal staff, including chefs, cleaners, and officials, spend two weeks at home and a third week in quarantine during their stay outside Windsor, it was said.
Windsor Castle staff who care for the Queen (pictured earlier in the photo) are forced to spend a week in isolation and take a coronavirus test for each three-week shift
The monarch, 94, went into self-isolation on the Berkshire estate (pictured May 8) nine weeks ago with her husband Prince Philip, 98, who moved from Sandringham
Under strict measures to protect the frost, each worker is then tested for Covid-19 and the temperature is measured before they can start another three-week rotation.
Those involved in the Queen’s security operation include her favorite page Paul Whybrew – with whom she is so comfortable that they often watch TV together and starred together in her James Bond sketch for the London Olympics opening ceremony .
Led by the head of the household, Tony Johnstone-Burt and the Queen’s private secretary, Edward Young, the team willingly agreed to live away from their own families for the duration of the shutdown.
It means they can serve the monarch and her husband without needing protective equipment such as gloves and masks, or adhere to guidelines that are socially distant.
By staying alone in their ‘bubble’ they will not come into contact with anyone else and therefore they will not contract the virus.
In an email promoting morale to domestic workers, former Vice Admiral Johnstone-Burt compared “HMS Bubble” to a naval exercise.
They are joined by a team of 24 dedicated staff who work to provide a protective shield around Elizabeth and Philip which Windsor Castle colleagues call ‘HMS Bubble’
He said, “The challenges we face, whether at home alone, or with our immediate household and families, have similarities to being away from home for months at a time, and with a sense of disruption, fear, and insecurity. ‘
The Queen is expected to be held on the Berkshire estate for months to come, and her diary would be revised until the end of the year.
A source said, “No risks can be taken with the health of the Queen and the Duke, so it is completely understandable. But the fact that this step has been taken indicates that there will be no change soon.
“The queen will obviously be locked up for months. It is difficult to see when it is considered safe to go outside again. ‘
It comes after Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel, head of the royal household, warned that the queen could lose £ 18 million amid the coronavirus blockade.
In an email to staff, the Lord Chamberlain admitted that royal income is expected to fall by as much as a third this year due to movement restrictions and the closure of royal palaces.
He also told employees that there will be a wage freeze, as well as a hiring halt.
The workforce, which has recently risen from 22, is split into two groups of 12 working with their families based on ‘three weeks on, three weeks off’
Last year, tourism earned the royals over £ 70 million in ticket and souvenir sales.
The royals are making millions from the Crown Estates, although that income will now drop significantly due to a lockdown.
Buckingham Palace makes around £ 12 million a year, Windsor Castle £ 25 million, Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh £ 5.6 million, Royal Mews £ 1.6 million and Clarence House £ 132,000.
The Queen is worth £ 350 million and the Sovereign Grant, which is paid annually by the taxpayer to the monarchy to fund official duties, was £ 82.4 million last year.
The email read: “The crisis has already tested our resilience, our adaptability and our preparedness in many ways and at all levels across the organization. It has also had a significant impact on the activities of the entire Royal Household.
“Although the UK seems to exceed the peak of infections, it remains unclear when measures such as social distance will expire.
“We must therefore assume that it may take many weeks, if not months, before we can get back to normal.”