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Inside the Queen’s lavish Balmoral castle as she holidays at the Scottish estate

The Queen’s summer getaway is set to look a little different this year, being the Monarch’s first stay at the castle since the death of her beloved husband Prince Philip

The Queen sits with her family on the grounds of the Balmoral Castle estate, during the summer of 1960

The Royal Standard flag will be flying above Balmoral Castle in a sign that the Queen is in residence, enjoying her annual summer holiday to the Scottish Highlands estate.

Balmoral is known as the place where the Queen can relax with her family, ride her horses, walk the dogs and enjoy big barbecues.

She holidays at the 50,000-acre estate each summer and last month she was officially welcomed by a guard of honour as she took up residence in Craigowan Lodge, her usual home upon the estate.

The trip is set to look a little different this year, being the Monarch’s first stay at the castle since the death of her beloved husband Prince Philip .

But she won’t be on her lonesome during her stay; she is claimed to have a “castle-full” of relatives staying with her, including Prince Andrew, his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, granddaughter Princess Beatrice and husband Edoardo Mozzi, and her youngest son Prince Edward and wife Sophie.



Balmoral Estate has long been the Royal family’s base in Scotland
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Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)




She was also said to have hosted Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his new wife Carrie Johnson for a weekend at the estate at the beginning of August.

Another of the Queen’s granddaughters, Princess Eugenie, has previously spoken about her grandmother’s love of the Highlands estate .

She told the programme Our Queen at 90: “It’s the most beautiful place on earth. I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands…walks, picnics, dogs, a lot of dogs, there’s always dogs, and people coming in and out all the time.

“Family-wise we’re all there, so it’s a lovely base for Granny and Grandpa to be – for us to come and see them up there where you just have room to breathe and run.”



Craigowan Lodge, the Royals’ seven-bedroom home on the edge of a forest on Balmoral Estate
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Image:

Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)




Balmoral is an incredible property, with impressive gardens surrounding the estate’s main house, the seven-bed Craigowan Lodge.

The lodge, which was built in 1855, designed by Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert, closed to tourists on August 2, in time for the royal visit.

Castle Ballroom, the largest room in the castle, features amazing artwork on display by Landseer and Carl Haag.

Underneath the carpet inside the ballroom, there is the original wooden floor which has never been replaced.

Balmoral Castle quickly became the Royal Family’s Scottish base after it was built. It is said to be one of the Queen’s favourite places, holding a special place in her heart as it is the castle where Prince Philip proposed to her.



Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at Balmoral, which is also where Philip proposed to his future wife
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The gardens were originally designed by Prince Albert, but have since been expanded by the modern Royal Family and now cover three acres, with a conservatory and lots of Victorian glasshouses.

Prince Philip extended the gardens during his time at the estate, to incorporate a large kitchen garden.

Produce from the vegetable garden is said to be harvested between August and October, so that the Queen can enjoy it when she visits each summer.

Another point of difference to the royals’ sunny break this year is that the Monarch will be forced to miss one of her favourite events.



The Ballroom at Balmoral Castle, during the time of Queen Victoria’s reign
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Popperfoto via Getty Images)




One tradition that Her Majesty nearly always upholds during the trip is attending the Braemar Gathering.

It is held a short distance from Balmoral and attracts the biggest crowds of the Highland games season.

But the Queen is set to miss out on it for a second-year running as it has been cancelled yet again due to the Covid pandemic.



Queen Elizabeth watches her son Charles playing in a miniature car in the grounds of Balmoral, in 1952
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The gathering, of which the monarch is patron, sees competitors take part in traditional Highland games including tug of war, tossing the caber and sack races.

There’s also displays of Highland dancing with the Queen first attending the gathering as a young girl.

Other members of her family have also attended in the past including the late Prince Philip, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Princess Anne.

And pictures have shown them in fits of giggles as they’ve enjoyed proceedings.



Queen Elizabeth II sitting in her study at Balmoral Castle, in 1972, dealing with despatch boxes containing State Papers sent from Whitehall
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Getty Images)




The Queen left for Scotland around a month ago and is believed to have been staying at Craigowan Lodge on the Balmoral estate where she normally spends the initial period of her summer holiday.

According to the Express , the seven-bedroom lodge is located on the edge of a forest and is a calm and quiet retreat.

And earlier this year, the monarch is said to have spent time there shortly after the death of Philip, who also enjoyed spending time there.



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