The Queen has installed a 'wheelchair-friendly lift' in her favourite Balmoral cottage amid speculation she will retire there

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It was recently reported that the Queen is leaving Buckingham Palace for good, and taking permanent residence at Windsor Castle.

The monarch is said to have no intention to return to London, and instead will largely carry out royal engagements virtually from the Berkshire property with royal author, Hugo Vickers, telling The Sunday Times: 'Windsor is the place she loves. She has her memories with Prince Philip there, she has her ponies there and family nearby. It makes sense.'

The royal's usually busy diary is also said to be under review, with the Palace recently releasing a statement announcing that she will only be undertaking ‘light duties’ for the foreseeable future.

Now it has been reported that the Queen intends to spend 'much more time' at her favourite Balmoral cottage, Craigowan Lodge, after her platinum jubilee this summer, and has had a 'wheelchair-friendly lift' installed in the property following the news that she has been unable to walk her corgis for the last six months.

She is also said to be upping security measures there, installing a new security game, intercom system and CCTV cameras according to The Sun.

The Queen is particularly fond of the seven bedroom cottage on her Balmoral estate, which she visits every April and August, and is just one mile from Balmoral Castle. It was first bought by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1852.

An insider told MailOnline: 'For many years we have thought it would be the perfect place for the Queen to spend more time when she's older. It's one of her favourite places in the country.

'With the proper lift and now this new security, it can effectively be sealed off so she can spend much more time there quietly in her late nineties.'

Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, said: 'Craigowan is one of the Queen's favourite homes. She loves being there. The idea of making it easier for her so she can spend more time there in the future is a great idea.

'It's a home she has always enjoyed and it gives her a bit of independence.'

While this has sparked speculation that the Queen may be preparing to retire there, a source close to the monarch said: 'This is not a retirement home.'

Well, that's that!

Jadie Troy-Pryde
News Editor

Jadie Troy-Pryde is News Editor, covering celebrity and entertainment, royal, lifestyle and viral news. Before joining the team in 2018 as the Lifestyle and Social Media Editor, she worked at a number of women’s fashion and lifestyle titles including Grazia, Women’s Health and Stylist, and now heads the Marie Claire UK news desk.