Boris Johnson is ready to spend the weekend at his official countryside retreat. His getaway to the luxury Chequers estate comes on the same weekend as Prince Philip’s funeral is holding.
Britain is currently in a period of mourning following Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh’s death last Friday. The UK government announcements and ministerial visits have been cancelled until 8 am on Sunday as a mark of respect.
However, the mourning will not stop PM Boris Johnson from leaving London to relax at the 16th century Buckinghamshire mansion, finished with a tennis court and indoor heated swimming pool.
Mr Johnson turned down an invitation to Prince Philip’s funeral at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle so more member of the royal family could attend since only 30 people will be allowed to attend due to coronavirus regulations.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said, “the Prime Minister will be at Chequers tomorrow where he will be watching the funeral on television alongside many people across the country. He will of course observe a minute’s silence.”
For now, it’s not immediately clear whether Mr Johnson’s fiancee, Carrie Symonds, and their little son will also be joining the British leader at the countryside estate this weekend.
A lot of Brits will not be able to travel to their second homes due to lockdown regulations in England. Mr Johnson hasn’t visited Chequers since before Christmas.
The 1,500-acre estate which was gifted to the UK government by Conservative minister Sir Arthur Lee has been the official retreat home of UK Prime Ministers since 1921. It has also hosted foreign dignitaries and been used for summits of ministers since then.
Prince Philip’s funeral holds at 3 pm tomorrow, with only members of the Royal Family and a very few close friends in attendance, and they will all be expected to wear masks and the service has been stripped right back to avoid large crowds gathering to watch the ceremony.