The Queen has kicked off her summer holiday in Balmoral. The monarch left Buckingham Palace on Thursday and is not expected to return to London until September. She usually previews the special summer exhibition that is put on for tourists at her London home; this year's display, Prince & Patron, showcases Prince Charles' love of art. But in a break with tradition, the Queen left for her holidays without making the customary check.
Her Majesty usually stays at her official residence, Balmoral Castle, but she won't be able to move in until the end of July, when the castle closes to tourists. In the mean time, Her Majesty is expected to stay at Craigowan Lodge on the Balmoral estate.
All the records the Queen has broken:
The seven-bedroom stone house is her preferred choice every year, while the main house is being prepared. It is located one mile from the castle and was frequently used by Prince Charles and Princess Diana when they would visit in the summer. Nowadays, the lodge houses important guests or other royal family members.
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The Queen spends every summer at Balmoral Castle
The Queen and her family will be able to enjoy their summer residence in private in August, when tourists leave and the estate is closed to members of the public. Her Majesty usually marks the beginning of her holiday in the first week of August, when she inspects a battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, who provide security for the royals during their stay.
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The Queen and Prince Philip pictured previously at their Scottish residence
Princess Eugenie has previously opened up about how much her grandparents love their Scottish home. "It's the most beautiful place on earth," Eugenie said during ITV's documentary Our Queen At Ninety. "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. 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."