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The Queen steps out with daughter Princess Anne in Balmoral – but these royals are notably absent

It's all change in Balmoral

Hanna Fillingham

For the past few months, the Queen and Prince Philip have been joined at Balmoral by many members of the royal family. Their youngest son Prince Edward and his wife the Countess of Wessex have been in Scotland with them for several weeks now and have been spotted attending the Sunday church service with the monarch on a regular basis. However, this weekend they were notably absent and instead the Queen was joined by her only daughter Princess Anne. This is because the new school term is about to start, and so Lady Louise Windsor and James Viscount Severn will have had to have returned to Windsor to prepare for the new year.

The Queen was pictured going to church with Princess Anne on Sunday

During their time in Scotland, Louise and James had great fun with their grandparents. Louise was pictured riding a horse with the Queen and Edward. The teenager is a huge fan of riding and has often been pictured showing off her equestrian skills, even competing in the British Driving Society Championship for Young Drivers. James, meanwhile, was seen walking their dogs around the grounds with Sophie, as well as trying out fly fishing.

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Prince Edward and his family had been staying at Balmoral for the past few weeks

Last week, the Queen was also joined at church by Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge who had gone up to Balmoral with their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, for the Bank holiday weekend. The family were pictured boarding the plane to Aberdeen from Norfolk last Thursday, and left on Tuesday. They timed their trip up to the Highlands to coincide with Autumn and Peter Phillips', who the couple get on well with. Their two daughter Isla and Savannah are also great friends with George and Charlotte, and they no doubt had a lot of fun together running around the grounds on the royal estate.

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It is well known that the Queen adores her summer months in Balmoral, and during her holidays she is able to fully relax. Her granddaughter Eugenie opened up the family's time in Scotland during a rare interview where she revealed just how special Balmoral is to her grandmother. "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 said during an appearance on ITV's Our Queen At Ninety. "It's the most beautiful place on earth," she added. "I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands."

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