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Prince Andrew joins the Queen and Prince Philip for lunch at the Balmoral estate

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Prince Andrew has joined the Queen and Prince Philip for lunch at the Balmoral estate as the couple prepare to cut short their Scottish holiday for a two-week break at Sandringham.

The Queen’s second son, 60, appeared alongside his parents as they stopped for the meal at a cottage near Loch Muick.

He was first seen at Balmoral last week after claims he was visiting his 94-year-old mother for ‘crisis talks’. 

The Queen and Prince Philip, 99, are currently preparing to leave Aberdeenshire in the coming days as they cut their holiday short to spend a fortnight together at Sandringham.

Prince Andrew, 61, joined the Queen, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, for lunch at the Balmoral estate as the couple prepare to cut short their Scottish holiday for a two-week break at Sandringham

It comes as the Queen and Prince Philip prepare to leave Bamoral this week to spend the last two weeks of their holiday in Sandringham 

Prince Andrew is believed to have been in Balmoral for a week with reports suggesting he journeyed up to Scotland for crisis talks.

He has been accused of failing to help US prosecutors in their investigation into paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein and the financier Ghislaine Maxwell. 

A source told the Sun: ‘The Queen and Andrew will have lots to discuss. So much has come out over the summer.

‘The Queen wants to be kept informed and she will not be back at Windsor until early October.’ 

Prince Andrew, who is believed to have been in Balmoral for little over a week, joined his parents for lunch on the estate today

The Queen opted for a warm coat and a white patterned scarf as she stepped out alongside Prince Philip and Prince Andrew

It comes as the Queen and Prince Philip prepare to leave Aberdeenshire this week. 

The monarch and Duke of Edinburgh typically remain at Balmoral, in Aberdeenshire, until next month but will now depart earlier, Buckingham Palace said today.  

The Palace confirmed the Queen hopes to resume ‘selected audiences and engagements’ in London in October for the first time since the coronavirus crisis struck the UK in March.

She and Philip will depart from Balmoral in the coming days and travel to Norfolk together to ‘spend time privately’ at the Sandringham Estate, where the Duke spends much of his retirement at Wood Farm.

The Queen will then return to Windsor in October, from where she will travel to Buckingham Palace for working visits. 

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived at Balmoral (pictured), in Aberdeenshire, at the start of August and have enjoyed visits from family in the weeks since. Stock image

In a statement, the Palace said: ‘The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will depart Balmoral Castle during the week commencing September 14 to spend time privately on the Sandringham Estate.

‘Subject to the finalisation of the autumn programme, Her Majesty’s intention is to return to Windsor Castle in October and to resume the use of Buckingham Palace for selected audiences and engagements.

‘These plans will be kept under review and will of course be subject to all relevant guidance and advice.’

The Duke of Edinburgh, who spends much of his time on the Sandringham Estate, has yet to confirm his plans.

MailOnline has contacted Buckingham Palace for more details. 

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived at Balmoral, in Aberdeenshire, at the start of August and have enjoyed visits from family in the weeks since. 

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will now spend at least two weeks ‘privately’ at Sandringham (pictured)

Pictured: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Balmoral Castle on August 4

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have spent time on the estate, as have Princess Anne and Prince Andrew

It comes following reports that the Queen is set to make Windsor Castle her main home and won’t resume residence at Buckingham Palace this year, according to a royal source.

Her Majesty would like to ‘commute’ to London for engagements if it is safe to do so, the Sunday Times reported.

It is believed the Queen’s absence from Buckingham Palace will be her longest during her 68-year reign.

The Queen would usually go back to the premises in October following her summer break in Balmoral.

It is believed that proposals are being reviewed for how the Queen (pictured in March) could safely attend commemorations at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday in November 

Instead, following her time in Sandringham, she will return to Windsor Castle where she self-isolated with the Duke of Edinburgh from March 19 prior to their Scottish holiday.

A royal source said: ‘There is a desire to get Buckingham Palace up and running again as a working palace, but only if all the relevant advice suggests that it is appropriate to do so.’ 

It is believed that proposals are being reviewed for how the Queen could safely attend commemorations at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday in November.

But Her Majesty apparently won’t be returning to Buckingham Palace again until the threat from COVID-19 is extinguished.

However, it is thought that the Queen will be spending her usual Christmas break at Sandringham in Norfolk.

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