At the end of August 2023, for the first time since Queen Elizabeth II’s death, The Prince and Princess of Wales made the trip to Balmoral Castle, reuniting with other members of the royal family.
Prince William drove himself and Princess Catherine to Church on Sunday 27th. The next in line wore a navy suit and slick blue tie, while Catherine opted for a tweed jacket and brown fedora.
While Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis did not attend the church service, it is expected that they joined their parents in Scotland for the remainder of summer.
Also spotted at Balmoral were King Charles and Queen Camilla, Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Princess Eugenie and her son August, and Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.
Balmoral’s enduring history with the royal family
Balmoral Castle has been part of the royal family since 1852 when Prince Albert purchased it for his wife, Queen Victoria. Today with a new structure, the 50,000 acre estate features 150 buildings. The grounds have witnessed many moments in royal history, including Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s controversial honeymoon.
It’s widely known among royalists that Queen Elizabeth II adored her time spent at the Scottish holiday home. Her Majesty would spend the end of her summers in the estate with her loved ones, and was even at Balmoral when she died on September 8th 2022. Free from public duties, the Queen would relish time with family.
“I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands,” said her granddaughter Princess Eugenie in the documentary Our Queen At Ninety.
With her love for horses and driving, it’s no wonder the late monarch would explore the grounds on horseback or behind the wheel. Meanwhile, her late husband Prince Philip would man the grill for a family feast.
“He stood amid a thick cloud of smoke, tears streaming from his eyes,” Prince Harry wrote in his contentious memoir Spare. “He wore a flat cap, which he took off now and then to mop his brow or smack a fly. As the fillets of venison sizzled he turned them with a huge pair of tongs, then put on a loop of Cumberland sausages. Normally I’d beg him to make a pot of his specialty, spaghetti Bolognese.”
The Duke of Sussex also spoke about the Queen’s skills in the kitchen, revealing she would often make large batches of salad dressing for her guests.
“She lit the candles down the long table and we all sat on wooden chairs with creaky straw seats,” he wrote. “Often we had a guest for these dinners, some famous or eminent personage. Many times I’d discussed the temperature of the meat or the coolness of the evening with a prime minister or bishop.”
Balmoral is clearly a special place among the royal family, holding a blend of happy and harrowing memories. But as shown by these photos of the royals summering in the gorgeous Scottish highlands, it’s easy to assume that the good memories outweigh the bad.
We look back at some of the most special moments of the royal family’s time at Balmoral, from the 1950s to present day.
King Charles and Queen Camilla attend The Braemar Gathering.
Queen Elizabeth II greets former UK Prime Minister Liz Truss at Balmoral, just two days before her death.
Princess Catherine accompanies the Queen to Crathie Kirk Church.
Her Majesty, Prince Philip, King Charles, and Queen Camilla are all smiles at the Braemar Gathering.
King Charles and Queen Camilla visit the Scottish home in complementary tartan outfits.
King Charles returns to Balmoral with his sons and two adorable pups.
King Charles plays with his sons, Princes William and Harry, on the banks of the River Dee.
King Charles and Princess Diana beam while on their honeymoon.
The Queen and Prince Philip pose with three of their sons on the grounds.
The Queen, Prince Philip, King Charles, Princess Anne, and Prince Andrew enjoy a family picnic.
Her Majesty breaks protocol as she helps her daughter Princess Anne through a window.
King Charles has a turn behind the wheel while his mother watches on proudly.
Queen Elizabeth II with one of her beloved corgis.