Queen and Philip arrive in Scotland for annual summer stay at Balmoral


The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have arrived in Scotland for their summer break at Balmoral, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

The monarch and Philip touched down at Aberdeen Airport on Tuesday afternoon before they were driven to their residence in the Highlands, roughly an hour away.

It is the first time the 94-year-old Queen and Philip, 99, have travelled away from Windsor since relocating from Buckingham Palace and the Sandringham Estate on March 19 following the coronavirus outbreak.

The head of state was pictured leaving the plane in overcast weather, wearing a rain mac over a powder blue jacket with a pearl necklace and earrings, while Philip donned a shirt and green jumper.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Balmoral in 1972
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Balmoral in 1972

Royal aides were also seen carrying luggage and a pair of dorgis – the Queen’s dogs.

They are expected to remain in Scotland through August and September with a minimal team of staff members, dubbed HMS Bubble.

Visitors from just two other households will be able to meet the Queen at the same time, under current Scottish Government rules, which recommends a maximum of eight people at a time when inside.

Four other households will be able to meet the monarch at a time outside – with fewer than 15 people in a group.

The palace declined to comment on whether other members of the royal family would travel there to spend some time with the monarch.

The Queen will not be able to watch the Braemar Gathering as she traditionally does, with the Highland games called off for the first time since 1945.

Queen’s annual summer break
Queen’s annual summer break

It is also unlikely the monarch will be able to host her annual Ghillies Ball, which usually takes place in the estate’s grand ballroom.

The event, which takes place during her summer stay, is a dance for her neighbours, estate and castle staff, but would breach the current rules on gatherings in Scotland.

The monarch will still continue with her official duties as sovereign while at Balmoral.