The Queen heads to Balmoral for short break ahead of busy Platinum Jubilee celebrations

The official festivities kick off on Thursday 2 June

The Queen is enjoying a short break in Balmoral ahead of her busy and exciting Platinum Jubilee celebrations next week. Her Majesty, 96, travelled to her private Scottish country estate on Thursday and is believed to be relaxing there before her jam-packed schedule of Jubilee events.

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She normally visits at this time of year and spends an extended amount of time at Balmoral over the summer period, usually travelling there in mid-July and staying until September or October.

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In the past few weeks, the monarch has carried out a string of engagements, both at home at Windsor Castle and also travelling to London despite her mobility issues. She attended the first day of the Chelsea Flower Show on Monday and last week also opened the new Elizabeth Line at Paddington station.

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The Queen loves the Scottish highlands

It is understood she is pacing herself ahead of her whirlwind Jubilee celebrations, which will take place from Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June. Among the highlights will be the traditional Trooping the Colour parade – the Queen's official birthday celebration – where she'll be able to watch a spectacular flypast from the Buckingham Palace balcony and take part in a carriage procession.

Her Majesty will also attend a service of thanksgiving, enjoy a day at the races at Epsom, and be a guest of honour at the Royal Pageant and Jubilee luncheon on the last day of the extended bank holiday weekend.

She has been travelling there for decades

Balmoral holds a special place in the Queen's heart. Located in Royal Deeside in Aberdeenshire and with 50,000 acres to explore, there's always plenty for the royals to do at Balmoral. As well as enjoying walks, the monarch and her family have been known to enjoy picnics, barbecues, fishing, horse riding and cycling on the estate.

Her granddaughter Princess Eugenie has previously revealed that the Queen is "happiest" at her rural Scottish estate. "I think Granny is the most happy there," Eugenie said in documentary, Our Queen At Ninety. "I think she really, really loves the Highlands. Walks, picnics, dogs—a lot of dogs, there’s always dogs—and people coming in and out all the time."

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