queen-braemar-gathering

Disappointment for the Queen as she's set to miss fun tradition during summer break

The monarch was officially welcomed to Balmoral on Monday

Danielle Stacey

The Queen, 95, was given an official welcome to her Scottish home, Balmoral Castle, on Monday, to mark the start of her summer break.

Scotland is said to be one of the monarch's favourite places and she is usually joined by her family members during her stay.

While long walks, games and barbecues are among the royals' activities during their summer holiday, there's sadly one tradition that they're set to miss out on this year.

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The Braemar Gathering has been cancelled for a second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It usually takes place on the first Saturday in September in The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park in Braemar.

Its history dates back 900 years but the Gathering has been run in its present form since 1832. Queen Victoria became its first royal patron in 1848 and the current monarch has attended the Gathering since childhood.

The Queen, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Princess Royal have all been pictured having a great time watching the Highland Games in previous years.

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The royals at the Braemar Gathering in 2019

In a statement on the event's website, David Geddes, President of the Braemar Royal Highland Society, said: "This has been an extremely difficult decision to make. To cancel a gathering is something which I had hoped I would never have to do in my time as President. Now, to cancel for a second year is heart-breaking. However, there is still uncertainty surrounding the spread of the virus and we must put the wellbeing of our community, visitors and volunteers first.

"We know the gathering is a highlight in many people's year and an event which many make plans for well in advance. We share everyone's disappointment and offer our hope and thoughts that you stay well and keep safe as the pandemic moves into what we hope is the final phase.

"As I said last year, like the hills around Braemar, the gathering will be here next year, and we look forward to happier times and to welcoming you back to Braemar on September 3, 2022."

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