Inside Royal Family's Balmoral holiday

Every summer the Queen and other members of the Royal Family head up to Scotland to enjoy some quality time together in the countryside. According to her granddaughter Princess Eugenie, the stunning Balmoral Castle and estate[1] is where the Monarch is “the most happy”, and stays there for several weeks in August. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their kids George, Charlotte and Louis, Prince Charles, Camilla, Meghan Markle[2] and Prince Harry[3] and the York sisters all pop in to stay with the Queen and Philip during their holidays – making it a very busy time for them.

But what exactly do the royals get up to during their Scottish break?

Charles, William and Harry walking their dogs in Balmoral

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Speaking on ITV’s documentary Our Queen at 90 Eugenie said: “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.”

But according to an insider, it’s not almost the most relaxing break and things can be pretty hectic. They told Vanity Fair: “It can get quite busy at what they call ‘the big house’ and it’s not especially relaxing even though it’s a holiday.

Inside Royal Family's Balmoral holidayThe Queen and Philip relaxing in Balmoral in 1994 Inside Royal Family's Balmoral holidayThe Queen enjoys horse riding, picnics and games that leave her ‘hooting with laughter’

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“There’s a daily routine which evolves around meal times, several outfit changes every day, sometimes five, and the Queen likes everything to run like clockwork. “The focus is on being outdoors and in the countryside walking, grousing, fishing and hunting.”

Balmoral is a working estate with highlights including grouse moors, the lush green forests and farmland, as well as plenty of animals from the herds of deer to Highland cattle and ponies. The Royals love grouse hunting, and go out regularly during their time at the castle.

Inside Royal Family's Balmoral holidayKate joins the rest of the royals to go shootingInside Royal Family's Balmoral holidayHarry has been doing it since he was a boy

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Prince Charles, William, Harry and Kate have all been known to go out shooting over the summer months, and last year they even took little George along to watch. But it’s bad news for the family this year as the Queen has been forced to call off the whole grouse shooting season as there has been a drop in the number of the birds in the area due to insects and bad  weather[4] .

Photographer Milton Gendel said he was invited to Balmoral back in 1976 (his wife was a close friend of Princess Margaret), and opened up about the experience to  Vanity Fair[5]  .

Inside Royal Family's Balmoral holidayPrince Charles and Princess Diana during their honeymoon at Balmoral Inside Royal Family's Balmoral holidayThere are lots of dog walks

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He wrote: “On some days there were excursions into the country. The Queen had been taught to drive by auxiliary army officers during World War II, and she handled a Land Rover with intrepid skill on the hilly and winding roads. “When we went riding, she saddled her horse, and afterward carried the saddle back to the stable herself.

“At a shoot on the grounds a truck delivered a sumptuous buffet lunch. The ‘guns’ lay on the grass for a postprandial respite.

Inside Royal Family's Balmoral holidayHunting has long been a hobby of Her Majesty

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The Royal Family

“The Queen and her sister walked about, deep in conversation. They were very close; when apart, they telephoned two or three times a day.

The atmosphere was always agreeable, buoyed by the light touch of the Queen and her sister.”

The Queen has no official duties while she’s in Scotland – it is her holiday after all- but she does attend the annual Braemar Gathering where she’s often spotted laughing at the fun events including the caber tossing, the tug of war and the sack races.

References

  1. ^ stunning Balmoral Castle and estate (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ Meghan Markle (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ Prince Harry (www.mirror.co.uk)
  4. ^ weather (www.mirror.co.uk)
  5. ^ Vanity Fair (www.vanityfair.com)

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