King Charles is currently at Balmoral Castle for his annual summer break, and the rest of the royal clan have started to arrive too. While this is a chance for the family to relax and have a break away from their royal duties, it will also be a poignant time without Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away in September 2022.
Speaking on behalf of Slingo, former royal butler Grant Harrold reveals he believes Charles will be "full of emotion" during the stay, but he also recounts happier times when he was working at the royal residence and spent time with the family.
King Charles' royal welcome at Balmoral
The monarch received an official royal welcome when he arrived at the estate, and Grant reveals the significance of this ceremony that Charles' late mother used to observe.
"It's an opportunity for the King to meet the troops and the regiment who are looking after him when he's in Scotland… They essentially police the estate, so this is a chance for the King to thank them for protecting him and looking after him while he is there," he said.
Regarding the legacy, he also added: "It's all very traditional as this is what the Queen did, this is what the Queen's father did, and now obviously the King wants to keep that tradition going. When it comes to politeness and manners, I've always said the royal family are masters at this."
King Charles' sentimental Balmoral memories
Speaking about the significance of the location, Grant said: "it's very special to him. Balmoral is full of memories, he grew up in Balmoral and there are many images of him when he was younger in Balmoral with his late mother, late father and his brothers and sisters, so this place is very important to him. It's hard not to shed a tear and feel connected to a place that you grew up in that is connected to your loved ones."
King Charles remembering the late Queen at Balmoral
As for feeling the poignance regarding where his late mother passed away, the former royal employee said: "It's possible that when he is there, it will bring back the memories of being in the room where his mother passed. Balmoral is full of emotion and that's a very private thing for him, so I'm sure it will be at the back of his mind because he is very much getting on with the duty of being the King.
"But he is human - I’ve witnessed it myself. He does have emotions, he laughs, and he cries as he is just like the rest of us. I'm sure it will be a chance for him to reflect on his late mother, and with the anniversary coming up it will be something that he will privately spend together with some other members of the royal family."
King Charles being supported by Queen Camilla
But thankfully the King has his "best friend" and "soulmate" Queen Camilla, points out Grant. "They are in it together and they support each other. She is very good with him, and I think that if he needs someone to lean on for support, especially during this time as we approach the one-year anniversary of the Queen's passing, he will lean towards the person who is closest to him and that is his wife.
King Charles' fun at Balmoral
Reminiscing about fond memories during his time on the property, Grant revealed he has danced with both Charles and Camilla over the years. Adding a hilarious anecdote about a mishap on the estate, he said: "I think one of the funniest memories I have is the time when I was having a picnic with him, I fell in some cow muck, which I think he found quite amusing."
When will King Charles leave Balmoral?
How long will King Charles stay at Balmoral you may be wondering? Well, perhaps for a while, the butler predicts. He said: "When I was with him, we used to spend August, September and October in Scotland, whereas the Queen would just do August and September. So, only time will tell as to how his schedule will pan out."