Friday, 1 Mar 2024

Senior royals meet for first summer break at Balmoral since death of late Queen

Senior royals have gathered at Balmoral as the Royal Family prepares to mark the first anniversary of the late Queen’s death.

King Charles and Queen Camilla welcomed Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales, Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, and even disgraced Prince Andrew to the estate.

It is the first time the Windsors have come together at the Queen’s beloved Scottish estate where she spent her annual summer break and the final days of her reign.

Balmoral Castle near the village of Crathie in Aberdeenshire was where the Queen died on September 8.

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All senior working royals were seen going to church for a traditional morning service.

The Prince and Princess of Wales were accompanied by Prince Andrew, while the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh accompanied Princess Anne and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.

Also pictured going to Crathie Kirk church was Lady Susan Hussey, the late Queen’s lady-in-waiting who was one of her closest confidantes.

Charles and Camilla are known to prefer staying at Birkhall, their private home on the estate.

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It is a particularly sentimental home as it is where Charles proposed to Camilla over the New Year in 2004 and where the couple honeymooned after their civil wedding in 2005.

One Royal observer said Birkhall is where the King feels most relaxed, with the estate all “muddy wellies, wet dogs and afternoon teas” – and a place they see as their marital home.

But the King has decided to honour his late mother and stay at the Scottish residence for three weeks to be there on the anniversary of his mother’s death.

The Princess of Wales also made her first appearance since the start of the summer break at the gathering on Sunday (August 27).

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Kate, 42, was pictured in a car with Prince William on their way to Balmoral Castle for the family gathering.

To mark the sombre occasion, the Windsors were spotted in subdued tones, including brown, green, red and blue – with Kate donning a tartan outfit.

She swapped her usual glamorous attire for a brown tartan jacket and smart feathered top hat.

The royal also donned a patterned jacket in the trademark “Balmoral tartan” design.

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