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Why the Queen can't stay at her and Prince Philip's beloved Balmoral just yet

Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo
Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo

Every summer, the Queen journeys up to Scotland to visit her beloved Balmoral estate. Described by Princess Eugenie as the 'most beautiful place on earth,' Balmoral is the Queen's favourite of her homes, where she relaxes, drives her Land Rover and rides her horses around her 300,000 acres.

Yet while the Queen headed up to Scotland last week, she will not be able to stay in the castle just yet. As Balmoral is a tourist attraction, the Queen will reside in a nearby cottage, potentially Craigowan Lodge, a seven-bedroom guesthouse about a mile from the castle, until the estate is closed to the public in early August.

Her Majesty will then move into her beloved castle, where she spent many happy summers with her husband Prince Philip. This is presumably an emotional trip for the monarch, and it's the first time the Queen is returning to Balmoral since her husband's death in April.

Princess Eugenie revealed in the Our Queen At Ninety documentary that Balmoral is where the Queen is happiest. "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."

Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images
Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

"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," Eugenie said in 2016.

The Queen likes to spend the mornings on the moors walking her corgis and occasionally driving her guests up to their shoots - according to Tatler, she has been spotted ferrying the Duchess of Cambridge up to the grouse moor to join the Duke of Cambridge.

The Queen particularly likes visiting her Scottish estate as it's a chance to properly relax. She has no official duties at Balmoral - except from making an appearance at Braemar Gathering, which involves caber tossing, a tug of war competition and sack races.

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The whole family are fond of visiting Balmoral, too. Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, visited the Scottish estate last year, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, also ventured to Scotland in 2020.

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