Every summer, the royal family decamps to Balmoral Castle in Scotland, which was reportedly Queen Elizabeth's favorite place. Summer 1997 was no different for the royals. After vacationing with Princess Diana in Saint Tropez in July 1997, Prince William, then aged 15, and Prince Harry, 12, joined their father, Prince Charles, and the rest of the royals at Balmoral.
“A shock to the system, going from sun-drenched St. Tropez to cloud-shadowed Balmoral," Harry would later write in Spare. "I vaguely remember that shock, though I can’t remember much else about our first week at the castle. Still, I can almost guarantee it was spent mostly outdoors. My family lived to be outdoors, especially Granny, who got cross if she didn’t breathe at least an hour of fresh air each day. What we did outdoors, however, what we said, wore, ate, I can’t conjure.”
This fateful August is documented in part one of season six of The Crown, including the young princes' time at Balmoral with Charles. One notable moment that the Netflix royal drama took great pains to recreate faithfully was a photoshoot that Charles did with his sons in mid-August 1997.
Here, see all the photos of Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry in Balmoral in August 1997.
The Crown Season 6
August 12, 1997
In reality, there were two days that the three royals snapped photos. The first was on August 12, at Polvier, on the River Dee on the Balmoral estate.
Like in the show, they were accompanied by their black lab, Widgeon.
Harry and William skipped stones in the river, as Charles looked on.
William throwing stones for Widgeon.
The Crown depicts the day as rainy, but per the photos, it doesn't seem to be raining.
The boys wore button-down shirts and pants; they have never really worn kilts.
15-year-old Prince William and his dog.
Charles and William chat in front of the camera.
Charles used a shephard's crook and wore a kilt.
Charles used a shepherd's crook and wore a kilt. He also had his pinky ring on.
Prince Harry write in Spare that he and William loved their time at Balmoral: "To me Balmoral was always simply Paradise. A cross between Disney World and some sacred Druid grove."
Charles watched his sons.
Prince Charles's Jack Russell dog, Tigger, was also with them in real life, but didn't feature in the drama.
King Charles typically always wears a kilt when he's in Scotland.
Prince William was a blonde teenager.
In the show, these photos are snapped by a photographer by the name of Duncan Muir. Getty Images credits them to Chris Bacon and Tim Graham.
August 16, 1997
Unlike in the show, the royals had a second day of photos—featuring Charles, William, and Harry in similar outfits.
On the second day of the photocall (which was four days after the first one), Charles and his sons visit Glen Muick.
Here, they stand atop Muick Falls.
Once again, the boys are in pants but Charles choses a kilt.
Harry and William smile for the camera. It wasn't the first time photos of the princes at Balmoral were released—they were snapped with their parents in 1987 while on vacation.
The brothers climbed on rocks in their loafers and khakis.
"Balmoral was its own micro-season, a two-week interlude in the Scottish Highlands to mark the turn from high summer to early autumn. Granny was there too. Naturally. She spent most of every summer at Balmoral. And Grandpa. And Willy. And Pa," Harry wrote in Spare.
Harry points something out to his brother.
Prince Charles wore a green sweater and kilt for their second photoshoot day.
Charles points something out to his sons.
The pictures were taken just over two weeks before Princess Diana's death.
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