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Prince George and Princess Charlotte's family photo with Queen and Prince Philip makes history – here's why

The candid snapshot was taken in 2015

Gemma Strong

Ahead of Prince Philip's funeral on Saturday, the royal family have been sharing a series of unseen family photos with the public.

On Wednesday, fans were treated to two candid new snapshots on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Instagram account, including a picture captured in 2015 showing William, Kate and their then-two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, with the Queen and the Duke.

MORE: Kate Middleton had a special connection to Prince Philip long before royal wedding

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WATCH: Prince Philip's best family moments

Followers were enamoured with the sweet family snapshot, which sees the Queen and baby Princess Charlotte sharing a special moment. But the photo was also important for an entirely different reason.

MORE: Prince Philip's final portrait: secret detail revealed by royal artist

READ: Queen Margrethe of Denmark makes poignant decision following Prince Philip's death

The throwback picture is the very first time that the Cambridge children have been officially photographed while in Scotland.

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The candid photo is the first official picture of the Cambridge children in Scotland

The Queen traditionally spends her summer holiday in Scotland, at Balmoral – said to be her favourite place in the world. Her wider family, including the Cambridges, often visit the monarch during her time at the Aberdeenshire estate, where William and Kate also own a lesser-known residence.

MORE: Take a look inside the Queen's home at Balmoral

READ: Prince Philip's lasting legacy at Balmoral revealed

Tam-Na-Ghar was a gift to Prince William from his great-grandmother, the Queen Mother, shortly before her death in 2002. It is located close to Birkhall, Prince Charles and Camilla's residence on the Balmoral Estate.

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Balmoral is said to be the Queen's favourite place in the world

Prince William and Kate have visited the three-bedroom cottage together since they were studying at St Andrew's University, and the pair reportedly told friends they have enjoyed some of their happiest times together there.

MORE: Prince Philip's godchildren include a former pop star and a used car salesman

They have continued to visit throughout their relationship, and stayed at the cottage with their three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – during their summer holiday in Scotland in 2019. The cottage is so private that no photos have been released showing the interior or exterior of the property.

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The royal family have spent many happy years visiting the estate

The 50,000-acre Balmoral estate features 150 buildings in total, including Balmoral Castle, where the Queen and Prince Philip spend their annual summer break, and the Garden Cottage, which was often used by Queen Victoria for taking her breakfast and writing diaries.

There are also several holiday cottages available for let on the estate – except for when the royal family are in residence – including Colt Cottages, Connachat Cottage, Karim Cottage and Rhebreck Lodge.

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