The Queen, 95, arrived at her Scottish residence on 23 July and on Monday she received her first official visitor – a mischievous Shetland pony!
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In a small ceremony outside the castle gates, the Queen inspected a Guard of Honour, formed of the 5 SCOTS, Balaklava Company and the Royal Regiment of Scotland, under the Command of Major Cameron Law.
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The pony, also known as Lance Corporal Cruachan IV is the Royal Regiment of Scotland's mascot, and formed part of the ceremonial welcome for the Queen to commence her summer holiday.
The Queen had a visit from a shetland pony to officially mark her stay
The cheeky animal has previously tried to eat the monarch's flowers and nibbled at Prince Harry's fingers when he and Meghan Markle visited Edinburgh in 2018.
Despite the previous run ins, the monarch seemed in good spirits when admiring the beautiful animal and observing the ceremony.
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have met the mascot before
This is Her Majesty's first summer at the estate without her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away in April at the age of 99.
It is believed that many of the Queen's family will be coming to join her at different intervals throughout the summer, as they usually do. It is expected that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will pay a visit along with their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Plus, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie Wessex are likely to stay at some point as well.
The Queen will receive a rotation of visitors to her Scottish home
It is also rumoured that Boris Johnson, along with his pregnant wife Carrie and their son Wilfred, could stay for a weekend.
Balmoral Castle will remain closed to the public now until 2022, but the official Instagram account has already hinted that next year's offering will be even more magical due to the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. Their post read: "We hope to see you all again in 2022 for what will be a very special Royal celebration!"
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