Prince Harry: Expert on whether royal will criticise Queen
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The Queen usually spends the summer at her Highland retreat of Balmoral. And it appears this year will be no different, with the Queen reportedly setting off for Scotland earlier this month. However, since the death of Prince Philip in April, this year the Queen’s summer visit to Balmoral will be her first without her beloved husband.
Why does the Queen visit Balmoral?
The Balmoral estate in Scotland was purchased by Prince Albert for his wife, Queen Victoria, in the 1850s.
Since then, the Balmoral estate has remained in the possession of the Royal Family, and it has been the backdrop for many family holidays.
Every summer, the Queen tends to spend several months on the estate and other royals visit the monarch during this time.
Scotland is known to hold a special place in the Queen’s heart, and members of the Royal Family have previously spoken about how much Balmoral means to her.
Speaking as part of ITV’s Our Queen At Ninety documentary a few years ago, the Queen’s granddaughter Princess Eugenie said: “I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands.”
Eugenie added: “Walks, picnics, dogs — a lot of dogs, there’s always dogs — and people coming in and out all the time.”
While at Balmoral, the Royal Family are known to enjoy activities like hiking, hunting and barbecuing.
Why do prime ministers visit the Queen at Balmoral?
It has long been a royal tradition that the Queen invites the sitting prime minister to visit her at Balmoral in the summer.
As the current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson could expect to get an invitation to Balmoral this year.
Mr Johnson visited the Queen with his then-partner, Carrie Symonds, back in 2019.
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However, due to political turmoil unfolding at Westminster at the time, Mr Johnson only stayed at Balmoral for one night.
It is thought Mr Johnson did not visit the Queen last year due to coronavirus measures.
So this year, Mr Johnson will likely be excited about the prospect of a proper prime ministerial visit to Scotland.
If restrictions in Scotland ease as planned on August 9, Mr and Mrs Johnson could be invited to spend a long weekend with the monarch, the Daily Express reported.
But this summer, the Johnsons could also be joined by their son Wilfred, who was born last year.
Whether or not the Johnsons will be visiting the Queen at Scotland has not been confirmed yet, with a Downing Street spokeswoman stating on Thursday: “No decisions have been taken yet.”
Boris Johnson is the 14th prime minister to have served under the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.
Previous prime ministers, including Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher, made the trip up to Scotland with their spouses during their tenures.
Mr Johnson’s visit with Carrie Symonds in 2019 was the first time a prime minister had visited the Queen at Balmoral with a partner they were not married to.
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