Queen Elizabeth Heads to Balmoral For the First Summer Since Prince Philip's Death

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Photo credit: Mark Cuthbert - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mark Cuthbert - Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth has begun her first summer holiday since the death of Prince Philip.

The queen headed off to Balmoral in Scotland from Windsor Castle Friday. The monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh would typically retreat to the Scottish castle every year from August until the fall. This year marks the first visit since Prince Philip passed away last April at the age of 99.

People reports that the queen will likely receive visits this year from Prince William and Duchess Kate with their three children, as well as Princess Eugenie and mom-to-be Princess Beatrice and their families.

Balmoral has served as a private retreat for the British royals for over 150 years, since Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, purchased the castle and the surrounding 7,000 acre estate. At Balmoral, the royals normally like to entertain friends, picnic, hold dances and go on shooting parties in the highlands.

Though the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh spent most of last year in Windsor Castle, where they began isolating in March 2020, they were able to continue the tradition of spending the summer in Balmoral last August. The holiday took place with new precautions, with staff forming a "Balmoral bubble" and visitors social distancing during encounters with the queen and Prince Philip.

The Royal Family recently honored the Duke of Edinburgh on what would have been his 100th birthday. The royal family Instagram account shared photos of the queen receiving a special shrub rose that was named in honor of her late husband, gifted to her by the Royal Horticultural Society. Prince William and Duchess Kate shared photos of the queen admiring the roses, which were planted in the East Terrace Garden of Windsor Castle.

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