The Queen, 95, was given an official welcome to her Scottish home, Balmoral Castle, on Monday to mark the start of her summer break.
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It has become tradition for the monarch to spend all summer in Scotland, having some well-deserved downtime, and it is no secret that it is one of her favourite places to be. But have you ever wondered what Her Majesty gets up to when she's not attending official engagements?
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Over the course of the summer months, the Queen is likely to embark on leisurely pastimes such as walking, horse riding and general relaxation. Her schedule sounds rather idyllic to us!
The setting lends itself perfectly to long walks as the estate covers a whopping 50,000 acres, and as well as the pristine scenery, there is also lots of lovely wildlife to admire.
A trip to Balmoral is important for family time
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Games and barbecues are also on the agenda of activities. Of course, any family barbecues will be tinged with sadness this year, as the late Duke of Edinburgh was once hailed 'the king of the barbecue'.
The Queen chooses calming activities while in Scotland
In the ITV documentary, Our Queen at Ninety, Princess Eugenie spoke out about the wonder of Balmoral. "It's the most beautiful place on earth," she said. "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."
Throughout the season, she will be joined by various members of the royal family, and Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson are already staying, after arriving on Tuesday.
An official ceremony marked the Queen's Scottish stay
It is also rumoured that Boris Johnson, along with his pregnant wife Carrie and their son Wilfred, could stay for a weekend.
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie were invited to the Queen's country residence when he was in office and the couple were very surprised at the normal life the royals lead there.
Cherie recalled that they even get stuck into the washing up: "You think I’m joking, but I’m not. They put the gloves on and stick their hands in the sink. The Queen asks if you’ve finished, she stacks the plates up and goes off to the sink."
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