King and Queen begin summer stay at Balmoral


King Charles and Queen Camilla have come to Balmoral Castle for their first summer residence in Scotland since the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Charles is continuing his mother’s tradition of taking a summer holiday on Royal Deeside in Aberdeenshire.

He is due to stay for three weeks and will be there on the first anniversary of the Queen’s death on September 8.

His visit began by inspecting troops from Balaklava Company, 5th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

The King was also introduced to the regiment’s official mascot, the Shetland pony Corporal Cruachan IV.

The inspection ceremony marks the formal welcome of the monarch to the Aberdeenshire castle.

Last August it was held privately inside the grounds for the comfort of the Queen.

She died at the castle a month later at the age of 96. She was the first monarch to die at Balmoral.

The last photograph of Queen Elizabeth II was taken at Balmoral

The last photograph of Queen Elizabeth II was taken at Balmoral© PA Media

The 50,000 acre estate sits 50 miles to the west of Aberdeen, within the Cairngorm National Park. It has long been established as the private summer home of the Royal Family.

It was bought by Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, in 1852 and has been handed down through the generations.

The estate includes grouse moors, forestry and farmland and is home to a large population of red deer.

It is the private property of the monarch and is not part of the Crown Estate.

Queen Elizabeth II with Philip and their children at Balmoral in 1960

Queen Elizabeth II with Philip and their children at Balmoral in 1960© Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II hosted numerous royal garden parties there and enjoyed watching events at the nearby Braemar Highland Games with other members of the Royal Family.

She spent her final months at Balmoral and held an audience there with Liz Truss, the 15th Prime Minister of her 70 year reign, just two days before her death.

Thousands of people lined the route as the Queen’s body was driven from Balmoral to Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

King Charles grew up visiting the castle every year and the estate was the inspiration for his 1980 children’s book The Old Man of Lochnagar.

He inherited the neighbouring Birkhall estate from his grandmother, the Queen Mother, upon her death in 2002.

He honeymooned there with Queen Camilla in 2005 and the couple later self-isolated at the house after testing for Covid-19 in March 2020.

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