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The Queen and Prince Philip arrive at Balmoral to start summer break

It's a tradition for Her Majesty and her husband

Danielle Stacey

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived in Scotland for their annual stay at Balmoral Castle on Monday. The 94-year-old monarch and her 99-year-old husband were pictured taking a private flight to Aberdeenshire from RAF Northolt, west London. In pictures published by Mail Online, Her Majesty looked elegant in a powder blue jacket with her signature pearl necklace and earrings, while Prince Philip donned a shirt and green jumper, as they were driven to the air base from Windsor Castle, where they have been staying since the UK lockdown was imposed in March. 

READ: Picnics, BBQs and bracing walks: how the Queen spends her summer in Balmoral

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The couple will stay at Balmoral with a minimal team of staff members, dubbed HMS Bubble. Members of the royal family are expected to join the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in Scotland this summer, but they are likely to stay in separate accommodation amid social distancing rules.

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The Duke was seen arriving at Balmoral Castle

Her Majesty has continued to carry out her royal duties from the Berkshire residence, taking her weekly audiences with Prime Minister Boris Johnson by telephone instead of in person.

The Queen made her fifth public address to the nation in her reign in April amid the coronavirus pandemic, reassuring the country by saying: "We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again." She also made another moving speech from Windsor Castle to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day in May.

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The Duke in Scotland on Tuesday

While the Queen's official birthday parade, known as Trooping the Colour, could not take place in its traditional format, the monarch stepped out for a scaled-down ceremony in Windsor Castle's quadrangle in June. The same month, Buckingham Palace released a photo of Her Majesty and Prince Philip to mark the Duke's 99th birthday.

In July, the Queen stepped out to knight Captain Sir Tom Moore in a short ceremony at her Berkshire residence. Earlier that day, she and the Duke had attended their granddaughter Princess Beatrice's private wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Buckingham Palace released a series of portraits from the couple's small ceremony at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at the Royal Lodge in Windsor, including one of the newlyweds with Beatrice's proud grandparents beaming alongside them.

MORE: Fancy trying the Queen's secret Balmoral whisky? Here's how

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Prince Philip stepped out for a rare public engagement in July

The Duke of Edinburgh also made a rare public appearance last month, as he handed over the role of Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles to the Duchess of Cornwall, in a short ceremony at Windsor Castle, while Camilla was at Highgrove House in Gloucestershire.

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