The Queen returns home after private break in Balmoral ahead of Platinum Jubilee weekend

The monarch enjoyed a short holiday in Scotland

The Queen has arrived back at Windsor Castle following her short stay in Balmoral, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

The 96-year-old monarch spent five nights at her Scottish country estate where she was able to relax and rest ahead of what will undoubtedly be an exciting but busy long weekend of Jubilee celebrations.

READ: Prince Harry and Meghan's expected roles at Trooping the Colour

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

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WATCH: The Queen's Jubilee celebrations day by day

She is now gearing up for a four-day extravaganza of Jubilee events which begin on Thursday with her annual birthday parade, Trooping the Colour. For the first time ever, the monarch, who suffers ongoing mobility issues, will reportedly take the salute at the military event from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

READ: What to expect day by day from the Queen's Platinum Jubilee

 
 

It's understood that the Household Division will march to the front of the palace where the Queen, who now uses a walking stick, will appear on the balcony to take the salute, to avoid her having to make the journey to Horse Guards Parade by carriage, or sitting on a dais for a lengthy period of time.

Trooping the Colour marks the start of the Queen's official Platinum Jubilee weekend

As well as Trooping the Colour, other highlights of the Jubilee weekend include the service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral to celebrate Her Majesty's 70-year reign on Friday, as well as the Royal Pageant and Jubilee luncheon on Sunday afternoon.

READ: Why Prince William and Kate are missing Lilibet's first birthday

The Queen has reportedly pulled out of the Epsom Derby on Saturday – one of her favourite racing events – and has asked her daughter Princess Anne to represent her.

Other events which are due to take place, but which the monarch is not expected to attend, include the Platinum Party at the Palace concert at Buckingham Palace which will see the likes of George Ezra, Alicia Keys and Queen perform, as well as the lighting of the beacons on Thursday evening.

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