The Queen is said to have made some major upgrades to her Balmoral estate ahead of her grand return to Scotland this week following her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
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Her Majesty arrived at her Scottish abode on Monday alongside senior members of the royal family including Prince Charles, Princess Anne, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex. The 96-year-old monarch, who has been experiencing mobility problems for the past few months – has reportedly had a £20,000 wheelchair lift installed in one of her favourite cottages within the grounds, Craigowan Lodge - a seven-bedroom stone house that is used regularly by friends and family of the royal family while visiting.
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According to a report from The Sun in March, the monarch also increased security around the lodge and planned to install a new security gate, a state-of-the-art intercom system, and a string of new CCTV cameras.
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Buckingham Palace previously said Her Majesty would not take a decision on whether to travel to Edinburgh until nearer the time. But on Monday, she took part in the Ceremony of the Keys with the Earl and Countess.
The ancient ceremony took place on the forecourt of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence in Scotland, as part of Holyrood Week – also known as Royal Week.
The Queen (pictured on Monday) is set at Balmoral in Scotland
This isn't the only public engagement the Queen is undertaking in Scotland for Holyrood Week. On Tuesday, she is confirmed to attend an armed forces ceremony in the gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Her Majesty typically visits her Scottish home every April and August and Balmoral holds many fond memories for her as it is where her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, left his personal mark on their beloved summer home, in the form of a sprawling vegetable patch and kitchen garden.
Balmoral holds special memories for the Queen
Scotland is considered to be one of the Queen's favourite places on earth; she and Prince Philip even spent part of their honeymoon at Birkhall hunting lodge, located on the estate, in 1947.
Her granddaughter Princess Eugenie has previously explained: "It's the most beautiful place on earth. I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands."
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