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Prince William, Kate Middleton and the children touch down in Scotland for holiday with the Queen

Royal nanny Maria was on hand to help the couple

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge travelled to the Caribbean island of Mustique earlier this summer, but on Thursday, the royals were pictured touching down in a location much closer to home – Scotland. William, Kate, their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis and royal nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo were all spotted disembarking the 8:45am FlyBe flight from Norwich to Aberdeen.

It's thought the Cambridges were staying at their country home in Norfolk, Anmer Hall, which is an hour's drive away from Norwich airport. Video footage obtained by the MailOnline shows William walking away from the plane with his elder children George and Charlotte, carrying their backpacks. Kate, who looked stylish in a thin jumper and long skirt, carried baby Louis in her arms while Maria walked alongside her carrying holdalls.

George and Charlotte, pictured previously, boarded a FlyBe flight

A passenger on the plane told MailOnline: "The family were sat right at the front. I fly this route all the time and we were non the wiser. No one knew they were on the flight. Later on I realised that Kate's mother was sat a few rows in front of me."

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The Cambridges will likely spend the bank holiday weekend with the Queen and Prince Philip at Balmoral Castle. Prince Charles and Camila are also enjoying their summer holiday close by at Birkhall estate. Members of the royal family all go up to Balmoral over the warmer months and so far this summer, fans have caught a glimpse of Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex and Prince Andrew and his daughter Princess Beatrice, among other royals.

Kate and the kids, pictured at the polo, are heading to Balmoral

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Prince William and Kate have been visiting Balmoral since their university days. The parents-of-three have had some of their most romantic moments at the residence, staying at a cottage called Tam-na-Ghar during their breaks at St Andrews University. William also surprised his then-girlfriend in 2009, arranging a candle-lit in a remote log cabin on the banks of the River Dee.

The Queen's summer residence is located in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire. The magnificent estate turreted grey stone castle is set amid mountains, lochs, glens and grouse moors. It is the Queen's private home and was handed down to her through generations of royals after being bought for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852. The couple first visited the Highlands in 1842 and were so struck by its beauty they resolved to return. The monarch famously called Balmoral a "paradise in the Highlands" and wrote in her diary: "All seemed to breathe freedom and peace, and to make one forget the world and its sad turmoils."

The royal family have been visiting Balmoral for decades

Balmoral is where the Queen and her family can truly relax and be themselves.Her granddaughter Princess Eugenie has declared that 'Granny' is most happy in the Highlands, saying: "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." Speaking on ITV's Our Queen At Ninety, she added: "It's the most beautiful place on earth. I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands."

Picnics, home cinema evenings, games and bracing walks are all laid on. And despite being on their summer holiday, the royals will occasionally attend official engagements, namely the Braemar Gathering, where the Queen is Chieftain of the Highland games. The sovereign and her husband Prince Philip are always pictured having a laugh as they watch the annual tug-of-war and the sack race.

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