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Kate Middleton makes surprise appearance during maternity leave with the Queen in Balmoral

What a lovely surprise!

Hanna Fillingham

The Duchess of Cambridge delighted royal fans on Sunday when she stepped out in Balmoral with the Queen. The royal looked in great spirits as she attended church in the nearby village of Crathie with the 92-year-old monarch and her husband Prince William, having arrived in Scotland to visit her during the summer holidays last week with her family. Other royals in attendance included Prince Charles, Zara Tindall, Prince Edward, Sophie Wessex and Lady Louise Windsor. Until now, Kate and William have been staying at their country house, Anmer Hall, in Norfolk with their three young children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Their visit to Balmoral has been highly anticipated, and marks one of the rare times that Kate has been seen out in public during her maternity leave, following the birth of Louis in April. Kate looked as stylish as ever dressed in a grey coat dress which she teamed with a black fascinator, while her long, brunette hair was styled in a stylish chignon.

The Duchess of Cambridge made a rare appearance out in Balmoral

During her maternity leave, Kate has been spotted out on several occasions during family events, including Trooping the Colour in June and at Louis' christening last month, where the Cambridge family stepped out for the first time as a family of five. Kate and her two eldest children have also been seen out at a few events, including a charity polo match in which William was taking part in back in June. The surprise appearance saw Kate as a hands-on mum, running around after her little ones – and impressively while wearing wedges.

MORE: The reason Kate's maternity leave is different with Prince Louis

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The royal family adore Balmoral

William and Kate have had a wonderful summer so far. They recently returned from a sun-soaked holiday in Mustique where they managed to fly under the radar. No photographs of the royals have appeared, although a source did tell HELLO! that William and Kate, both 36, went on a night out at the island's famous Basil's Bar. The royals attended "on the early side" of the Splash of Gold party and looked to be having a great time.

READ: Will Kate Middleton follow in Princess Diana's footsteps with this family holiday tradition?

Kate and the Queen on their way to church

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 Windsor.

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