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For decades, the Queen has enjoyed her annual summer holiday at Balmoral Castle in the Scottish highlands. And this year is no different as the 95-year-old monarch departed from Windsor Castle on Friday to begin her break. However, poignantly, this trip will mark the Queen's first summer at Balmoral since her husband Prince Philip’s death.
The royals have made many memories at the castle in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire and the late Duke of Edinburgh was heavily involved in the landscaping and management of the estate. “When the Queen succeeded, we sort of chatted about who would do what,” he told a 2008 ITV documentary, “I thought that if I could relieve her of the management of the estates, it would save a lot of time.” The royal family’s website has highlighted how Philip created a vegetable garden, a flowered paved walk on the north side of the castle, a water garden, and a plantation of oak trees.
The royals enjoy riding, bracing walks and picnics in the highlands, and Princess Eugenie once told ITV how Balmoral is a “lovely base for granny and grandpa, for us to come and see them up there, where you just have room to breathe and run.” On the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral in April, the Queen released a personal photograph of her and Philip sitting on the grass at the top of the Coyles of Muick near to the castle (see photo at top of article).
Several members of the royal family usually spend time at Balmoral throughout the summer and this year is expected to be no different. Prince Charles spends part of the summer at his residence on the estate, Birkhall which was a former home of the Queen Mother.
Balmoral has been a home for the royal family since Queen Victoria and Prince Albert purchased it in 1852 and built a new castle on the site which was completed in 1856.
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