Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, have been isolating at Windsor Castle, but now they have managed to make their way to the Scottish Highlands for their annual summer vacation. The monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh, as well as her beloved corgis, took a private plane from Windsor to Aberdeenshire last week, and then continue by car to Balmoral Castle.
Almost every year the Queen spends the warmer months, from July through early October, at Balmoral, but this year the trip had to be delayed due to the global pandemic that swept the worlds. She moved from Buckingham Palace to Windsor in March and depending on how this virus situation develops, her stay at Balmoral might exceed the usual early October date this year.
For the last couple months, the Queen and Prince Phillip have been confined to their “Windsor bubble”, with only a minimal staff of around 22 people there with them, with everyone carefully following the prevention protocols for the virus.
The two eldest royals did have one engagement in this period, with the two attending Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi’s surprise Windsor wedding last month, where they maintained social distancing measures and stuck to the safety procedures.
Now even with the change of location, the two royals aren’t letting up with the protocols, as now they have a new “Balmoral bubble” in Scotland, with the same staff members and regulations in place as in Windsor. But as they attended Beatrice’s wedding, some might assume that family members will be dropping by for a visit to Balmoral this year.
All the activities at Balmoral will be outdoors, which shouldn’t be a problem, as the usual things they get up to there, shooting, fishing and the Queen’s favourite-riding, are all outdoor activities. We should also expect lots of picnics with Prince Phillip manning the grill. Royal or not, a man’s gotta grill.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are not the only royals in Scotland at the moment, as Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles are already at their Birkhall estate, so they might be stopping by soon enough.
Any visiting royals will be residing in separate houses on the Scottish estate, as no one is allowed to stay within Balmoral Castle. Prince William and Kate Middleton, who are expected to make a visit with their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, usually stay in a three-bedroom cottage near Prince Charles’ home. But as they are now a family of five, they might need some extra room for this year’s family reunion.
It is highly unlikely that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be making a return trip to England this year, as they have already settled in Los Angeles, where there has been a major surge in virus-related cases.
Princess Eugenie and newly-wed Princess Beatrice are also likely to make their way to Scotland, along with both of their husbands. According to some reports, newlyweds Beatrice and Edoardo want to throw a big party to celebrate their nuptials later this year, along the lines of the health protocols of course, and a family get together at Balmoral might be a good option.