"I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands," Princess Eugenie previously said of Queen Elizabeth's joy at Balmoral
On Tuesday, ITV News editor Chris Ship wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that the sisters arrived at the royal residence in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where Queen Elizabeth retreated for a private vacation each August and spent time with family. Continuing the tradition, her eldest son and successor King Charles was ceremoniously welcomed to Balmoral on Monday, signaling the kickoff of his stay.
“The King’s wider family gathering at Balmoral now he’s officially started his stay at the Castle. Princess Eugenie arrived with her children today. Princess Beatrice, her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and their family also seen today,” Ship said.
The stay at Balmoral Castle will mark the first summer getaway in Scotland for Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie since their beloved grandmother's death. Queen Elizabeth died “peacefully” at the royal residence on Sept. 8, 2022.
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie joined members of the royal family just two days after the Queen's death at Balmoral to view the flowers, notes and other tributes left by members of the public mourning the monarch.
As they get settled at the castle (which sits on 7,000 acres in the Scottish Highlands), Beatrice, 35, and Eugenie, 33, will likely be busy chasing after their children — and marking a milestone!
The getaway is the first Balmoral break for Princess Eugenie's 2-month-old son Ernest, who she shares with husband Jack Brooksbank along with 2-year-old son August. August and Ernest have an ideal playmate in his cousin Sienna, Princess Beatrice’s 1 ½-year-old daughter who she shares with Edo (who is also dad to young son Christopher Woolf with ex-girlfriend Dara Huang).
Princess Eugenie previously spoke about how much Balmoral meant to her grandmother, explaining in the 2016 documentary Our Queen at Ninety, "I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands.”
While Balmoral will be bittersweet for the royal family without Queen Elizabeth, King Charles followed in her footsteps by receiving a festive welcome at the castle gates earlier this week.
On Monday, the 74-year-old monarch (who was recently announced as the new Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Scotland) inspected a Guard of Honour of the Balaklava Company, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, outside Balmoral.
The Pipes and Drums of 4 SCOTS also performed at the ceremony, where the King met Corporal Cruachan IV, a Shetland pony who serves as the mascot of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. Charles chatted with the pony's handler and even gave Cruachan a pet on the nose — but the mascot isn't always on his best behavior around royalty!
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In 2018, the pony relieved himself during the ceremonial welcome to Balmoral Castle, causing Queen Elizabeth to turn away and shield her nose from the smell with her hand. The previous year, Cruachan tried to take a nibble of a bundle of flowers being held by the Queen during a visit to Stirling Castle.
Though she was a lifelong horse lover, Queen Elizabeth once quipped, "Here we are again," upon seeing playful Cruachan.
In a few weeks, King Charles and Queen Camilla will likely be at Balmoral Castle for the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s death. The royal couple is expected to spend the day quietly and privately, as Queen Elizabeth used to do on her own Accession Day.
While his retreat to Balmoral was marked with pomp, Charles had already been in Scotland for several weeks, undertaking various engagements from the Mey Highland Games to visiting a new whisky distillery.
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