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British RoyalsQueen Elizabeth II

Balmoral: The refuge of Jubilee queens

The Platinum Jubilee celebrations are centred mainly in London, with most events taking place in the city, as is true of all Jubilees. However, The Queen has travelled up to Balmoral ahead of her Jubilee weekend. 

Both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II have spent time at the Scottish estate ahead of Jubilee celebrations.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert purchased the Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire in 1852 as a family residence. Shortly after they purchased Balmoral, the existing country house was considered to be too small, and Albert commissioned a new castle. Victoria laid the first stone in 1853, and the family was able to stay in residence by late 1855. 

After Albert’s death, Victoria spent much of her time at Balmoral – sometimes up to a third of the year. It was one of her quietest estates due to its relatively remote location, and she was largely left alone there. She spent time at Balmoral before both her Golden Jubilee, celebrating 50 years on the throne, in 1887 and her Diamond Jubilee, celebrating 60 years, in 1897. In 1887, ahead of her first Jubilee, she visited villages near her Scottish home to hand out personal souvenirs of her celebrations.

 Queen Elizabeth II has followed in her great-great-grandmother’s footsteps and has been spending time at Balmoral before her Platinum Jubilee. She travelled there on Thursday, 26 May, for a private trip. The Royal Family spends time at Balmoral each summer for several weeks, but this is a shorter trip without scheduled engagements. 

After contracting Covid earlier this year, amongst general health concerns, The Queen has chosen to not attend several engagements due to continuing mobility issues. It is thought that she will be resting at Balmoral and getting ready for her busy schedule over the Jubilee weekend

While it has been confirmed that she will not be attending the Epsom Derby, other events remain under the same guidelines issued by Buckingham Palace earlier this year when it was announced that The Queen’s attendance at events will only be confirmed on the morning they take place.

Trooping the Colour starts the Jubilee celebrations on June 2 followed by a balcony appearance while the RAF carry out a flypast. In the evening, the Jubilee beacon will be lit. On June 3, the Royal Family will join thousands more at the Service of Thanksgiving while the Party at the Palace takes place on June 4. The Platinum Pageant and the Big Jubilee Lunch are the final showpiece events of the celebrations, taking place on June 5.

Royal Central will bring you full coverage of all events as we celebrate the Platinum Jubilee.

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Historian and blogger at AnHistorianAboutTown.com