Queen to miss Sunday service at Crathie Kirk to avoid crowds gathering

The Queen will not attend church in Scotland on Sunday in order to stop well-wishers gathering, it is understood.

The head of state, who travelled to Balmoral with the Duke of Edinburgh on Tuesday for her traditional summer break, normally joins the congregation at nearby Crathie Kirk.

But it is understood she will not take her seat in the place of worship in Aberdeenshire to avoid large groups of people congregating outside.

Lockdown measures have been reintroduced in Aberdeen following the outbreak of a coronavirus cluster in the city.

Queen attends church service
The Royal Regiment of Scotland forming a guard of honour as the Queen arrived at Crathie Kirk last year (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Face coverings are to be made mandatory in more indoor places across Scotland following the spike in cases.

The Queen’s annual visit to Balmoral Castle was already expected to be different from normal due to the coronavirus restrictions in place.

Crathie Kirk – a regular place of worship for the royal family when they are in residence at the estate – is among the places subject to rules allowing communal prayer for a maximum of 50 people, with two-metre distancing in place.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman previously said arrangements for the Queen’s stay in Scotland “will be in line with the relevant guidelines and advice”.

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