The Queen arrived at Balmoral Castle on Monday to officially begin her summer holiday. Each year, Her Majesty invites some specially chosen guests to spend a few days with the monarch at her summer retreat.
As the 92-year-old’s time at Balmoral is in a private capacity, no official photos are released of her stay there, nor are details of her guests made public. However, from previous years we know there are a few faces who keep appearing at the castle to spend time with Her Majesty.
The Duke of Edinburgh
In previous years, The Duke of Edinburgh remains at Sandringham during the first few weeks of August and then joins Her Majesty in Scotland towards the end of the month.
However, whether that will be the case this year remains uncertain. Due to Prince Philip’s recent retirement and hip operation, it is possible that he would rather remain at Sandringham for the duration of the summer rather than making the journey to Scotland.
If the 97-year-old does decide to travel to Balmoral, it is usually in the third week of August.
The Queen’s children
All four of The Queen’s children will likely make an appearance at Balmoral over the summer. According to the royal diary, Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew have a relatively light diary for the next few weeks, so will have plenty of time to visit their mother in the highlands.
Prince Edward’s diary is also light. However, there is an engagement towards the beginning of August take place in Scotland indicating that he and his family will join Her Majesty sooner rather than later.
The Cambridge Family
In previous years, the Cambridge family have spent a few days in Scotland with The Queen. This year there will be an additional place at the dinner table following the arrival of Prince Louis.
The Cambridge Family are likely to split their time during the summer months between a variety of locations. They have their property in Norfolk, a stay at Balmoral and a stay with their parents to consider. The family of five have spent the last couple of weeks on holiday abroad.
It is also possible that members of the Duchess of Cambridge’s family could be invited to the castle. In 2016, years Carol and Michael Middleton joined The Royal Family for a holiday at Balmoral.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are almost certain to make an appearance at The Queen’s Scottish estate this year.
For Meghan, this will be her first summer as a member of The Royal Family, and will no doubt be keen to spend time with The Queen in Scotland.
The young royal is known to have a good relationship with the Monarch and spent Christmas at Sandringham with The Royal Family last year.
Sarah, Duchess of York
An unlikely guest at Balmoral in recent years is Sarah, Duchess of York. Despite separating from the Duke of York in 1992, they have remained close friends and often holiday together.
Sarah had stayed at Balmoral a few times since her divorce, most notably last year when she stayed for a few weeks.
With the upcoming wedding of Princess Eugenie, it is likely that Sarah will be invited to stay at Balmoral this year alongside the York family.
If she does pay a visit, it will likely be towards the beginning of August to ensure there is no chance of bumping into her former father-in-law, Prince Philip.
If Sarah Ferguson is invited to Balmoral, then it would make perfect sense for Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank to also be present.
Non-royal spouses have been invited to the castle in the past, and it would present a good opportunity for the family to bond before the wedding.
Given that the Middleton parents have visited Balmoral with their daughter in the past, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for Meghan’s mother, Doria, to stay as The Queen’s guest.
This would make personal and logistical sense. Meghan will no doubt want to see her mother during the summer months, and the only way she will be able to do this is to travel to LA.
However, if Doria is invited to Balmoral, it would mean they could spend time together in Scotland, and Doria could get to know The Royal Family better.
With her poise and dignity at the royal wedding, I am sure The Queen would have no apprehensions over inviting Doria to her summer retreat.
As for the rest of Meghan’s family, they will most certainly not be invited to Balmoral anytime soon.
As is tradition, the Prime Minister and their spouse is always invited to stay at Balmoral for the weekend as a guest of The Queen.
This year is no different, and Theresa May, alongside her husband Philip, will be staying at the castle for a few days at some point in the next couple of months.