The Queen arrived at Balmoral Castle a few days ago 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 93-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.
This is usually a carefully choreographed operation so he doesn’t bump into any other guests who he would rather avoid.
With the duke’s advancing age and recent retirement, it is possible that he may decide to spend the duration of the summer in his home at Sandringham House rather than make the long journey to Scotland.
If the 98-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 very light schedule for the next few weeks, so will have plenty of time to visit their mother in the highlands.
The Cambridge Family
In previous years, the Cambridge family have spent a few days in Scotland with The Queen.
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 Sussex Family
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are likely to make an appearance at The Queen’s Scottish estate this year.
For the first time, they will need an extra place at the table for baby Archie who will be making his first trip to Scotland.
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, and is now a regular guest in the first few weeks of August.
It is understood that at the time of publication, the Duchess has already arrived at Balmoral making her one of The Queen’s first guests of the year.
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 alongside The Royal Family.
With her poise and dignity over the last couple of years, we are sure The Queen would have no apprehensions over inviting Doria to her summer retreat.
As for the rest of Meghan’s family, we doubt they shall be invited to Balmoral anytime soon.
Boris Johnson (and spouse…)
As is tradition, the Prime Minister and their spouse is always invited to stay at Balmoral for a weekend as a guest of The Queen.
This will be the first time Boris Johnson gets to spend some quality time with Her Majesty as Prime Minister since he was appointed to the job last month.
However, the question remains over whether Mr Johnson arrives at the palace alone, or with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds.
Miss Symonds lives with the Prime Minister in his flat above No 11 Downing Street, despite Mr Johnson still being married to another woman.
Mr Johnson is in the process of divorcing his estranged wife Marina Wheeler, however, the decree nisi has not yet been finalised.
Friends of Mr Johnson and Miss Symonds say that the couple do not wish to put Her Majesty in a difficult position.