Queen and Prince Philip in never-before-seen picture at Balmoral taken by Prince Andrew

The Duke of York posted the photograph of his parents, taken across a lake at Balmoral, to celebrate the start of the Queen’s summer at her Scottish residence. The Queen and Prince Philip traditionally spend most of their summers at Balmoral Castle, their 52-bedroom residence in the Highlands.Yesterday, the Queen was welcomed back there by The Royal Regiment of Scotland. Sharing the photograph on his official Twitter account, the post read: “Today The Queen was officially welcomed to Balmoral Castle with a Guard of Honour from @The_Scots. 

“Every summer, Her Majesty and The Royal Family enjoy spending time at Balmoral – this photo was taken by The Duke of York in the grounds of the Castle in 1984.”

As revealed by the Duke of York himself on the social media platform, the picture was taken in the mid-1980s – when he was 24.

The Queen and Prince Philip were then respectively 58 and 63.

The Queen stands out vividly against the scenic backdrop, wearing a red buttoned-up cardigan, a tartan skirt and black shoes. 

The Duke of Edinburgh is wearing a kilt out of respect of the Scots.

While this picture marks one of the rare occasions the Queen is not seen carrying her signature handbag, the Duke completed his look with the sporran, the traditional pouch usually worn with the pocketless kilts.

At his side, one of the Queen’s faithful corgis is sitting down, possibly waiting for the pair to resume their peaceful walkabout around the lush green scenery surrounding them.  

The couple look directly at the camera, behind which there was Prince Andrew.

His skills as a photographer were praised by royal fans on Twitter.

One wrote: “Happy hols Royal Family and especially Her Majesty, welcomed to Balmoral Castle with a Guard of Honour – how very sweet and splendid a tradition this is!

“Prince Andrew developed photographer – 1984! Her Majesty & Duke of Edinburgh are the EPITOME of British Family! 

“Andrew captures the SILVER BIRCHES perfectly! X”

Another wrote: “Going for a splendid walk, her Majesty and his RH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh.

“Thanks to his RH Prince Andrew Duke of York for this special, unique photograph.”

And a third simply commented: “Beautiful scenery, a great photo of the royal couple.”

The Royal Family has owned Balmoral Castle since 1852, and was a favoured retreat of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. 

The castle, which is worth approximately £155m according to Business Insider, counts dozens of bedrooms and is surrounded by 52 acres of land.

Both the Queen and her husband Prince Philip take a “close personal interest in running and improving the estates”, according to the official website of the castle.

While in Balmoral, the Queen truly enjoys some time off, according to a royal author. 

Royal expert Juliet Rieden told Nine News: “This is where she loves to be, this is holiday time for the Queen.

“She always said this is where she feels most herself and feels most free.

“When they are out having their barbecues, which they love to do out in the grounds of Balmoral – it’s a massive estate, the most beautiful grounds – where they literally set up a barbecue.

“And afterward the Queen does the washing up.”   

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