Francesca ShillcockSee some of the best pictures from the Scottish royal residence over the years
The Queen and Prince Philip are currently enjoying the summer months in Scotland at one of their favourite residences, Balmoral Castle. It's been a royal tradition for a number of decades for the royal family to spend the holidays there since Queen Victoria acquired the estate, and Her Majesty has followed suit, visiting as a young princess, a young mother and then as monarch.
Over the years, many other members of the royal family have accompanied the Queen and Prince Philip at the Scottish estate throughout the summer. Located in Royal Deeside in Aberdeenshire, the royals have enjoyed fishing, long country walks, and the beautiful mountainous views it has to offer. Along the way, many fascinating and insightful photographs have been taken on the grounds of the estate of the Queen and her children, grandchildren and, of course, her beloved corgis. Take a look through the gallery to see some of the best photos from the Scottish residence…
The Queen and her corgis
The Queen'sbeloved corgis are by her side for almost every visit to Balmoral and this trip in 1974 is no different. Here, the Queen's caring nature is shown as she gathers the corgis together after disembarking the plane at Aberdeen airport ahead of her holiday in Balmoral.
Prince Charles, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret
Balmoral has always been a residence which brings the royals together to spend quality time as a family. The idyllic and picturesque gardens have provided a wonderful place in particular for the royal children. Here, a young Prince Charles dips his hands into one of the fountains as his beloved grandmother, the Queen Mother, looks on with his aunt, Princess Margaret, who was then celebrating her 21st birthday.
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The Queen and Prince Philip's growing family
The Queen and Philip have enjoyed spending time at Balmoral as a growing family over the years. In this picture, taken in 1960, the then family-of-five are gathered on a picnic blanket in the castle gardens with a young Prince Charles, Princess Anne and a seven-month-old Prince Andrew.
The Queen is a keen equestrian and still rides to this day. It's no wonder, therefore, that when she and Prince Philip holiday on the Scottish estate, a trip to the stables is always on the itinerary. This picture shows the Queen and Philip's playful side as they visit a farm on the estate. The couple were that year (1972) celebrating their silver wedding anniversary
The Queen with a young Prince Charles and Princess Anne
As a mother-of-two, Balmoral afforded the Queen a place to spend quality time with her young children. In a picture from 1952 that shows Her Majesty as a relaxed and caring mother, a young Princess Anne and Prince Charles sit next to their mother in the gardens of the castle, with a watchful corgi taking place above them.
The Queen and Prince Philip inside the residence
As the Queen and Prince Philip spend the summer holidays at Balmoral, they can indulge in some down-time. As well as enjoying the great outdoors, the royals spend time in the many historic drawing rooms in the castle. Here, in this image from 1975, the Queen and Philip relax with newspapers and a corgi nestled by their feet.
Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, purchased Balmoral Castle in 1846 before it was redeveloped in the 1850s. The estate held a special place in Queen Victoria's heart and she often spent time there with her family, in particular after the death of Prince Albert in 1861. In this fascinating image from 1867, Queen Victoria stands outside the castle with her dog 'Sharp'.
Prince Philip with sons Prince Edward and Prince Andrew
Showing the close bond between himself and his sons, Prince Philip shares a jokey moment with Prince Edward and Prince Andrew at an event in Balmoral, Scotland as guards and members of the public look on. The image was taken in 1983, and proves that Prince Harry was not the first royal to sport facial hair!
Young Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie attend Sunday service at Balmoral
As well as spending time together when they visit Balmoral, the royals attend church every Sunday as a family. This photograph shows young Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie in the car with their father, Prince Andrew, and grandparents, the Queen and Prince Philip, on their way to Sunday service at Crathie Church.
The Queen and corgis
Whether the Queen is travelling by plane or by train, her beloved corgis are always in tow. In 1969, the Queen alights the train with her four corgis on her return from the summer holidays at Balmoral. That same year, the Queen welcomed to Buckingham Palace the astronauts of Apollo 11, shortly after they walked on the moon.
Prince Charles and Prince William
It's not just the Queen and her children who have been visiting the Scottish estate since they were children. Here, her young grandson Prince William climbs aboard the Queen's plane at Aberdeen airport after spending the summer there with his father, the Prince of Wales in 1984.
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall
In more recent years, Prince Charles and Camilla have paid regular visits to the Balmoral residence. In 2005, the newlywed couple spent their first joint engagement as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay (as they are known in Scotland) there, and also enjoyed their honeymoon at the Scottish estate.
Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry
As young Princes, William and Harry have spent many summers in the picturesque Scottish estate with their father the Prince of Wales. In this photograph, taken in the summer of 1997, Prince Charles and his two sons enjoy a walk in Polvier, by the River Dee, with Prince Charles' Jack Russell dog, Tigga.
Prince Philip, the Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla
The royals also often attend sporting events during the summer holidays at Balmoral. Here, the Queen, Prince Philip, and Prince Charles and Camilla laugh together while watching the Braemar Games Highland gathering, as their Balmoral team took part in a tug of war competition in 2006.
Diana, Princess of Wales, with a young Prince William and Prince Harry
Prince William and Prince Harry donned many a matching outfit as young children, and this trip to Balmoral in 1986 was no different. The young Princes disembark the Queen's plane at Aberdeen airport with their mother, the Princess of Wales, ready to begin a summer holiday filled with wonderful memories no doubt.