Prince William, Kate Middleton and their children spent a ‘special week’ at Balmoral with the Queen, where they enjoyed ‘fishing, riding horses and hiking’, royal expert claims
- Queen, 95, spent last week with Prince William, 38, and his family in Balmoral
- Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis all attended
- Royal expert said the Cambridges spent ‘special time’ with the monarch
- Katie Nicholl revealed family were ‘fishing, horse riding and cycling’ during trip
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children have spent a ‘special’ week holidaying with the Queen in Balmoral, a royal expert has claimed.
Prince William and Kate Middleton, both 38, as well as Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, three, ‘lifted the monarch’s spirits’ with their visit to her Scottish estate in Aberdeenshire over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Writing in Vanity Fair, Katie Nicholl revealed the occasion marked the first time the family had been able to come together for a trip since Prince Philip’s death in April.
She said the Cambridges had enjoyed ‘long walks in the countryside, fishing, riding and cycling’, with a source adding: ‘William, Kate, and the children have been enjoying some family time in Scotland and they have just spent some special time with the Queen.’
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six and Prince Louis, three, spent last week holidaying with the Queen in Balmoral, according to Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl
Meanwhile another insider revealed the annual trip over the last week of August had become a tradition for the family, with the monarch reserving the Bank Holiday weekend for time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
They said: ‘In the past it has turned into one big sleepover with lots of the Queen’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her Majesty enjoys it immensely.’
The royal expert also reported the Queen has been known to leave gifts for her grandchildren on their beds during their stay at Balmoral.
The monarch arrived at the Aberdeenshire estate in late July and typically remains until early October.
The royal expert said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children ‘lifted the monarch’s spirits’ with their visit to her beloved Scottish estate in Aberdeenshire over the Bank Holiday weekend
It marks the Queen’s first summer holiday at her Scottish estate since the death of the Duke of Edinburgh in April, at the age of 99.
It comes after a source claimed the Queen was ‘itching for things to get back to normal’ during her annual break at and hoped to host a BBQ for the royal family at the castle.
A source told The Sun: ‘The family barbecues are back on the agenda even without Philip there for the first time.’
Meanwhile it was also revealed Fergie was invited to stay at the Queen’s Scottish retreat this summer.
Meanwhile another insider revealed the annual trip over the last week of August had become a tradition for the family (pictured, the Cambridges with the Queen and Prince Philip at the Scottish estate in 2015)
‘Sarah Ferguson is coming,’ a source told Richard Eden. ‘She will be here with Andrew.’ It’s not clear whether Fergie and Andrew will be joined by their daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
The stay at Balmoral will no doubt be bittersweet for the Queen, who enjoyed many happy memories with her late husband on the estate.
While never truly off duty it was the closest that the Queen and Prince Philip would come to a proper holiday.
There would be raucous drink-fuelled evenings and jovial house parties, and quiet days with old-fashioned parlour games by the fire while the rain hammered down outside.
The stay at Balmoral will no doubt be bittersweet for the Queen, who enjoyed many happy memories with her late husband on the estate (pictured, a photograph released by the Queen in April of herself and Philip in the hills near Balmoral)
Then there was the famous ghillies’ ball which took place each October, with invites extended to house and estate staff as well as neighbours and friends.
A true ‘upstairs downstairs’ event, it was never complete without Scottish country dancing and one could, if lucky enough to receive an invitation, quite easily find oneself being whirled around the dancefloor by the Prince himself, resplendent in a kilt and smiling.
In April, the Queen released a picture of herself and Philip in the hills near Balmoral.
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