'A long deployment at sea': The extreme precautions staff take to protect the queen amid Covid-19

Queen Elizabeth is currently self-isolating at Windsor Castle – her weekend and holiday home – with Prince Philip amid the Covid-19 crisis. 

With the queen having recently turned 94 and Prince Philip to turn 99 in June, the couple is at a far higher risk than, say, Prince Charles – who contracted and recovered after contracting the virus in March – so extra precautions need to be adhered to during these particularly uncertain times. 

The Sun recently shared how the queen’s aides have had to adapt to a new schedule. According to the publication, there are 24 staff members, who have been handpicked, and split into teams of two. 

To ensure the safety of Their Royal Highnesses, each team works for three weeks at a time away from their families. The "three weeks on, three weeks off" system sees them spend two weeks at home and the third week in quarantine before they’re tested and able to return to work again. 

Ex-royal navy officer and current master of the household, Tony Johnstone-Burt, has previously described the queen protective ring as an "HSM [Her Majesty’s Ship] bubble" and characterised her staff’s dedication to "a long deployment at sea". 

"Like sailors separated from their families for weeks at a time, so too have royal staff had to make personal sacrifices in order to best protect the monarch and her husband," Tatler explains.