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Prince Philip, King Charles, Peter Phillips and Prince Edward wearing kilts© Getty

8 photos of royals wearing kilts in long-standing Scottish tradition

The royals have a long history with Scotland

Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
July 2, 2024
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The royal family has long had close ties with Scotland, with the King and Queen taking their annual summer break at Balmoral Castle.

You'll often see male members of the Firm, including King Charles, wearing kilts while carrying out engagements in the country.

The British royal family even has its own Balmoral tartan, a grey, black and red design created by Prince Albert in 1857, and can only be worn with permission from the King.  

The only other person allowed to wear the Balmoral tartan is His Majesty's Piper, whose kilt and plaid are made in it.

As Holyrood Week or Royal Week in Scotland begins on 2 July, HELLO! takes a look at some of our favourite photos of the royals wearing kilts.  


Queen Elizabeth II and The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh with their two young children, Princess Anne and Prince Charles outside Balmoral Castle, 19th September 1952.© Getty

The Duke of Edinburgh, 1952

Photographers captured this family snap of Queen Elizabeth II during the first few months of her reign in 1952. The Duke of Edinburgh wore a kilt as the couple posed outside Balmoral Castle with then Prince Charles and Princess Anne.


Prince Charles in kilt in 1955© Getty

Prince Charles, 1955

The King has been wearing the Balmoral tartan since he was a child, with the palace releasing this sweet portrait of the then heir to the throne in the grounds of the Queen's Scottish residence to mark his seventh birthday in 1955.


Princess Anne wearing matching tartan skirt with Zara and son Peter in a kilt© Getty

Peter Phillips, 1985

The Queen's eldest grandchild Peter Phillips wore a kilt as he, his sister Zara and their mother Princess Anne arrived in Scotland for their annual holiday in 1985.


Charles wearing a kilt with Harry and William in Scotland in 1997© Getty

Prince Charles, 1997

Charles wore a kilt as he enjoyed a walk with his sons Prince William and Prince Harry at Polvier by the River Dee in 1997.

While William and Harry have been pictured wearing kilts as children in official family portraits, neither have worn one as adults. 


Prince Philip and Prince Charles wearing kilts at the 2006 Braemar Gathering© Getty

Prince Philip and Prince Charles, 2006

We love this photo of Prince Philip attending the 2006 Braemar Gathering in Scotland. 

The Highland Games are one of the highlights of the royal family's summer calendar, along with the annual Ghillies Games at Balmoral Castle.


Prince Edward wearing a kilt to Founder's Day parade 2017© Getty

Prince Edward

Prince Edward donned the uniform of the London Scottish Regiment to review the Chelsea Pensioners during the annual Founder's Day parade at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in 2017.

In 2024, the Duke of Edinburgh took over as Colonel of the Scots Guards from the Duke of Kent. 

On his 55th birthday in 2019, Edward was also granted the additional title of Earl of Forfar for use in Scotland.


Sam Chatto wearing a kilt to church© Getty

Princess Margaret's grandson, Samuel Chatto, was spotted wearing traditional dress for morning service at Canisbay Church in Caithness. 

The artist, who specialises in pottery, studied at the University of Edinburgh. 


King Charles wearing kilt at gates of Balmoral© Getty

King Charles, 2023

The King hosted his first summer at Balmoral last August and was seen wearing a kilt during the official welcome to his Scottish residence. 

LISTEN: Inside Royal Ascot


Princess Kate wearing black and white polka dots and a hat

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