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How royal children spend their summer: Horse riding, picnics and adventures with the Queen

The Queen's Scottish retreat is so fun for royal kids

Sophie Hamilton
Parenting Editor
August 10, 2022
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Oh to be the Queen's grandchild in summer… Balmoral is Her Majesty the Queen's idyllic getaway in the Scottish Highlands where she usually spends the warmer months with members of her family - and it's a total playground in nature.

READ: Kate Middleton reveals Prince George's surprising job in school holidays

The beautiful estate spans around 50,000 acres, boasting a breathtaking landscape of mountains, rivers, lochs, woodland and gardens – so it's no wonder members of the royal family love to join her with their children in August.

WATCH: Royals at Balmoral

In previous years, the monarch has welcomed everyone from Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, to Mia and Lena Tindall to Balmoral for the summer. The three children of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are also expected to visit soon. Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are bound to have a wonderful holiday exploring the vast estate.

Do you want to know exactly what royal children get up to while staying with the Queen at Balmoral? Read on…

Walking and hiking


The beautiful Balmoral estate

Princess Eugenie once said 'Granny' is most happy in the Highlands, revealing how the royal clan like to spend their time together there. The youngest daughter of Prince Andrew said:

"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."

We can just picture the likes of Prince George and his cousin Savannah Phillips running up and down hills and playing hide and seek amongst the trees.

MORE: 13 pregnant royals ready to pop! See final baby bump photos before they gave birth

Learning to fish

charles fishing

Prince Charles fishing at Balmoral

Balmoral is known for its beautiful lochs and rivers – perfect for catching a tasty salmon for supper.

Prince Charles has been photographed enjoying a spot of fishing there in the past, and we imagine he's teaching his grandchildren the peaceful outdoor sport, too.

Pony riding

lady louise windsor

Lady Louise Windsor enjoys riding with the Queen

The Queen absolutely loves horses and has previously been spotted riding with Lady Louise Windsor in Balmoral, along with Prince Edward.

There are plenty of ponies for young royals to meet at the estate as the monarch has her own stud for working Highland ponies.

According to the publication Scottish Field, every foal born at Balmoral is named by the Queen and she even has a theme for their names every year such as a bird or island.

Picnics and barbecues


The Queen and family enjoy a picnic

Eating al fresco is big at Balmoral! This photo taken in 1960 shows the Queen, Prince Philip and her children sitting together on a picnic blanket in the castle gardens. The younger royals undoubtedly do the same today as they stop to refuel during an outdoorsy day.

Barbecues are also popular on the estate, and former royal chef Darren McGrady previously told Marie Claire of Prince Phillip's love of cooking food on the barbecue.

"Philip would cook out on the grill," he said. "He'd come down to the kitchens and discuss what food we'd have: 'Do we have any salmon that any of the family have caught? The Queen's been picking strawberries with Princess Margaret, let's have those for dinner.'"


charles fountain

A young Prince Charles

Royal children can easily cool down on hot summer days in Balmoral's streams and fountains.

In this old photo, we see a young Prince Charles dipping his hand into one of the garden's fountains alongside his late grandmother, the Queen Mother and his aunt Princess Margaret.


Prince Charles with his young sons William and Harry

We've also seen photos of a young Prince William and Harry enjoying a walk beside the River Dee – a perfect spot for a paddle.

Spotting red squirrels!


A rare red squirrel

According to Vogue, Balmoral is home to some very special residents… the rare red squirrel! We bet the young royals love to go red squirrel spotting together with their parents. You can even watch the cute mammals on the estate yourself via a live feed online.

We wish the royal children a very happy summer in Scotland!

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