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The Queen reunited with cheeky Shetland pony during official welcome to Balmoral - best photos

The monarch spends the summer at her Scottish residence

queen shetland pony balmoral
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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queen welcomed to balmoral 1© Photo: Rex

The Queen received an official welcome to Balmoral Castle on Monday and was reunited with a cheeky Shetland pony.

Lance Corporal Cruachan IV is the Royal Regiment of Scotland's mascot and has previously tried to eat the monarch's flowers and nibbled at Prince Harry's fingers when he and his future wife, Meghan, visited Edinburgh in 2018.

In a small ceremony outside the castle gates, the Queen inspected a Guard of Honour, formed of the 5 SCOTS, Balaklava Company and the Royal Regiment of Scotland, under the Command of Major Cameron Law. The monarch is Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

The monarch, 95, who arrived at her Scottish residence on 23 July, is spending her first summer at the estate without her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away in April at the age of 99.

READ: Sarah Ferguson receives rare invite to Balmoral from the Queen

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queen outfit balmoral© Photo: Rex

Her Majesty looked beautiful in a raspberry pink coat and a matching hat, with a floral dress for the official welcome. 

During her summer break, the Queen usually receives visits from her family members, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex. 

The monarch usually remains at Balmoral until early October. 

MORE: Will the Queen receive these high-profile visitors at her Scottish home this summer?

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queen welcomed to balmoral 2© Photo: Rex

The pipes and drums of 3 SCOTS performed during the ceremony. 

Last year's welcome ceremony did not take place due to the pandemic. 

MORE: The Queen's private holiday home is full of Prince Philip memories – photos

queen guard of honour balmoral© Photo: Rex

The Queen was pictured as she inspected the Guard of Honour. 

the queen brooch© Photo: Rex

The Queen also sported the Royal Regiment of Scotland brooch and carried one of her trusty Launer London handbags. 

queen pony balmoral© Photo: Getty Images

Despite being on holiday, work still continues for the head of state as every day she receives from Government ministers, and from her representatives in the Commonwealth and foreign countries, information in the form of policy papers, Cabinet documents and other State papers for her attention.

These are sent up to her by private secretaries in the red boxes also used by Government ministers to carry confidential documents.

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