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Why today would have been a fun day for the Queen and the royal family

The 94-year-old monarch usually attends the event in Scotland with her family

Danielle Stacey

The Queen is currently on her traditional summer break at her Scottish residence Balmoral Castle and she usually has a pretty full social calendar.

READ: The Queen makes major change to her Sunday routine at Balmoral

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WATCH: Inside royal residences, including Balmoral Castle 

One of the highlights of her stay is the annual Braemar Gathering to watch the Highland Games, but sadly this year's event, due to take place on Saturday 5 September, has been cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

David Geddes, President of the Braemar Royal Highland Society, said in a statement about the cancellation in May: "We know the Gathering is a highlight in many people’s year and an event which many make plans well in advance for. 

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Camilla, the Queen, Charles and Autumn at the 2019 Highland Games

"We share your disappointment and offer our hope and thoughts that you stay well and keep safe in the days ahead. Like the hills around Braemar, the Gathering will be here next year, and we look forward to happier times and to welcoming you here in 2021."

A virtual Highland Games will be held on 12 September this year instead.  

The Highland Games usually takes place on the first Saturday in September every year and features pipe bands, dancers and traditional events, such as tossing the caber, hammer throw and tug o'war. Its history dates back 900 years but the Gathering has been run in its present form since 1832. Queen Victoria became its first royal patronage in 1848 and the current monarch has attended the Gathering since childhood.

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

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The royals watching the caber toss

Last year the Queen enjoyed the Games with the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Her Majesty's grandson Peter Phillips and his then wife Autumn. The couple announced their amicable split earlier in 2020 and are set to divorce. 

The Queen usually stays in Scotland until early October, but this year she is expected to return to Windsor Castle instead of Buckingham Palace. The 94-year-old monarch and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, isolated at the Berkshire palace when the UK lockdown was imposed in March.

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