Frank Augstein - WPA Pool/Getty Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth is skipping an annual event that traditionally marks the beginning of her summer vacation in Scotland.
The Queen, 96, will be welcomed to Balmoral Castle privately rather than in her usual fashion this year. Traditionally, she is seen arriving at the Highlands estate in a short ceremony, captured by photographers, with soldiers from a Scottish regiment as military pipers and well-wishers gather at the gates of her estate.
That arrival will now happen privately on the estate grounds, a royal source confirms. The plans have been changed for the Queen — who has been experiencing mobility issues causing her to cancel public appearances and duties for several months now — for "reasons of comfort," the royal source says.
Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Balmoral Castle
The Queen had a busy late spring and early summer, stepping out around the celebrations of her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne. She also carried out a series of engagements in Edinburgh, Scotland, before moving back to Windsor, where she held a poignant investiture for health workers. But, as with a lot of her public events, her family has been standing in for her — last month, her son and heir Prince Charles, 73, took her place at the official opening of the Commonwealth Games.
The Queen headed to Scotland from Windsor Castle on July 21 and was believed to have been staying at Craigowan Lodge, a smaller home on the Highland estate. She usually likes to stay there in the run-up to moving into the castle, which was open to the public until last week.
Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Queen Elizabeth
Surrounded by family members who come and go through the late summer weeks, the Queen is likely to be there for the Highland Games on Sept. 3 before heading south to be in position for the confirmation of the new prime minister following the resignation of Boris Johnson on July 7. He remains in place until an election among the ruling Conservative Party members, to choose between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, has taken place next month.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth
Last week, the monarch heard the news that one of her close friends, Lady Myra Butter, had died. After saying goodbye to Prince Philip, her husband of 73 years in April 2021, Queen Elizabeth also mourned the deaths of two ladies-in-waiting late last year.