Summer holiday back on for Queen and Prince Philip as they plan trip to Balmoral

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read
File photo dated 14/7/2017 of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh who will travel to Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire for their annual summer break in early August, Buckingham Palace has confirmed. PA Photo. Issue date: Wednesday July 22, 2020. See PA story ROYAL Queen. Photo credit should read: Chris Jackson/PA Wire
The Queen and Philip will be able to go to their Scottish home in August. (Chris Jackson/PA Wire)

The Queen will be going on her summer holiday, as it’s confirmed she and her husband can travel to Scotland early next month.

The Queen and Prince Philip spend every summer at Balmoral, their home in Aberdeenshire, but the annual trip was in some doubt this year because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

But on Wednesday, Buckingham Palace confirmed their trip.

A palace spokesman said: “The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh plan to move to Balmoral Castle in early August to commence their annual summer stay.

“All arrangements will be in line with the relevant guidelines and advice.”

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, have been in Windsor Castle since 19 March, when they relocated there a week earlier than usual, for Easter Court.

They have remained there in isolation, though in recent weeks, both have made public appearances.

The duke, 99, made an appearance on Wednesday morning, when he attended a ceremony to hand over his role of Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles.

Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, has taken over.

BRAEMAR, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 01:  Queen Elizabeth II attends the 2018 Braemar Highland Gathering at The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park on September 1, 2018 in Braemar, Scotland.  (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The Queen enjoying the 2018 Highland Games. (WireImage)

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The Queen made two televised appearances in the early days of the pandemic, and since then has carried out virtual engagements on zoom.

She has also carried out an investiture for Captain Sir Tom Moore, and watched her socially distanced official birthday celebrations.

Both the Queen and the duke were able to attend their granddaughter Princess Beatrice’s wedding on 17 July.

Staying at Balmoral for the summer is a favourite part of the Queen’s year and it had long been thought she would make the trip should it fit regulations.

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 20: Canadian Governor General Designate Julie Payette meets Queen Elizabeth during a private audience at Balmoral Castle on September 20, 2017 in Aberdeen Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Canadian Governor General Designate Julie Payette had an audience with the Queen in Balmoral in 2017. (Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II leaving Crathie Kirk after attending a Sunday church service near Balmoral where she is currently in residence. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Queen Elizabeth II attends Crathie Kirk when she is in Scotland. (PA Images)

It’s thought members of her family will come to visit her in the Aberdeenshire estate over the summer, giving them a change of scenery. Prince William and Kate are in Anmer Hall in Norfolk with their children and may make the trip over the border to see the Queen and the duke.

Prince Charles and Camilla have only recently returned to England from Scotland, as they spent the majority of lockdown in Birkhall, their Scottish home.

But they may be keen to reunite with the Cambridge children, and Charles spoke of missing his father during the lockdown too.

However it’s very unlikely Prince Harry and Meghan would be able to make the trip from their LA home with son Archie, as they had planned.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, looks on during the annual Braemar Gathering in Braemar, central Scotland, on September 7, 2019. - The Braemar Gathering is a traditional Scottish Highland Games which predates the 1745 Uprising, and since 1848 it has been regularly attended by the reigning Monarch Queen Elizabeth and members of the Royal Family. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Camilla, the Queen and Prince Charles enjoying the Braemar Gathering in 2019. (Getty Images)
Making a happy group on the lawns at Balmoral, are the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and their three children Princess Anne, Prince Charles and baby Prince Andrew, on his father's knees.   (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh with Princess Anne, Prince Charles and baby Prince Andrew at Balmoral in the 1960s. (PA Images)

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There are few engagements during the summer in Scotland, but the royals are usually seen at the Braemar Gathering, where the Queen is Chieftain of the Highland Games.

This year though the games are cancelled.

The Scottish estate has good memories attached for many of the royals, including Princess Eugenie, who once said of it: “Walks, picnics, dogs – a lot of dogs, there’s always dogs – and people coming in and out all the time.

“It’s a lovely base for granny and grandpa, for us to come and see them up there; where you just have room to breathe and run.”

It’s also said they have family barbecues, with Philip on the grill and the Queen on the washing up.

Prime ministers and first ministers usually visit the monarch and stay for a short time, but it’s unlikely this would happen this year because of the virus.

Three weeks ago, there were warnings from rangers on the Balmoral estate, after the closure of the toilets and the relaxation of Scotland’s exercise rules led to an increase in faeces and wipes littered on the estate.