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Prince Philip makes surprise appearance with the Queen and Zara Tindall in Balmoral

What a lovely surprise!

prince philip the queen balmoral
Hanna Fillingham
Hanna FillinghamUS Managing Editor
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It was a family affair on Sunday morning as the Queen was joined by her husband Prince Philip, 97, and many members of the royal family in Balmoral. The royal couple looked in great spirits as they attended church in the nearby village of Crathie, and were joined by Zara and Mike Tindall, the Duchess of Cornwall, Sophie Wessex, Prince Edward and their daughter, Lady Louise Windsor. This was the first time that Philip had been seen out since June, when he went carriage driving in Windsor days after his 97th birthday. He has missed a number of events this year following his hip surgery in April, including Trooping the Colour and Prince Louis' christening, so his appearance was a wonderful surprise for all royal watchers.

prince philip the queen balmoral

Prince Philip joined the Queen in Balmoral on Sunday

Philip has been in Balmoral with the Queen over the summer, and while the Queen has been seen out each Sunday to attend church, Philip has been staying in. The royal couple retreat to Balmoral Castle every year, and the magnificent estate, set amid mountains, lochs and glens, has become a firm favourite with the royal family. There, Philip and his family can truly relax and be themselves, living in complete privacy at the stunning estate.

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The Queen's family usually fly in throughout August and September to visit. Her granddaughter Princess Eugenie has previously said: "It's the most beautiful place on earth. 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." Eugenie's sister Beatrice, meanwhile, was spotted there earlier in the month with her dad Prince Andrew, and younger cousin Lady Louise.

lady louise windsor sophie wessex balmoral

Other royals out on Sunday included the Wessex family

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It is expected in the next few weeks that the Queen will receive visits from her grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry. William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, are currently residing at their country home, Anmer Hall, with their three young children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Harry, meanwhile, is set to take his wife the Duchess of Sussex soon, which will mark her first summer at the Scottish estate as an official member of the royal family.

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