Times tartan got a royal twist: The Queen, Princess Diana, Kate and more

By Anna Redman

The British royal family may spend most of their year in abodes scattered throughout London, but each of them also holds a special place in their hearts for Scotland (and its signature tartans!), home to the Queen's estate of Balmoral. "It’s the most beautiful place on earth," Princess Eugenie said in the ITV documentary Our Queen At Ninety – released ahead of the monarch's milestone 90th birthday last year.

"I think Granny is the most happy there," adds Prince Andrew's youngest daughter. "I think she really, really loves the Highlands." On Apr. 6, this adoration is particularly relevant as people around the world celebrate National Tartan Day – an ode to Scottish heritage.


Kate, the Queen and the late Princess Diana wearing tartan in style.

The royal family's love for the country is a heritage in itself, stretching back to Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, who purchased the castle privately in 1852. Of her new Highland home, Victoria said: "Balmoral always seems to breath peace and make one forget the world and its sad turmoils."

In addition to spending their summer holidays at their exclusive northern retreat, the Queen and her family have also demonstrated their passion for the place by adding pieces to their wardrobe stitched from the Balmoral Tartan. Originally designed by Prince Albert in 1853, the grey checked design – native to Scotland – is interwoven with threads of black, white and red.


The British royal family clad in their Balmoral tartan.

Despite being part of the family, each royal with items of clothing made from the pattern had to seek the Queen's permission before the piece could be created. Other than Her Majesty the only person with continuous approval to trot out this tartan is the monarch's personal piper – another ode to Scotland.

To celebrate today's special occasion we've rounded up some of the best royal outfits with a tartan twist (in both the Balmoral pattern and other less-regulated styles!), from Princess Diana and Kate to Prince Charles and Camilla.

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