Queen Elizabeth II is expected to give up one of her time-honored traditions in Balmoral, Scotland, this year. Every year, the Queen travels to her Scottish residence for the summer months to spend time away from her usual royal duties.
Though this marked the first Balmoral trip since the death of her beloved husband Prince Philip in April, on Monday the Queen was welcomed with a small ceremony when she arrived at the castle in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
She will also have to give up one of her longtime Balmoral traditions this year. The Queen usually attends church services at Crathie Kirk during her summer trips, however she’s expected to skip them due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Though she has received her Covid-19 vaccine, the pandemic is still a danger in the UK and it’s unlikely that she will want to take any chances at 95-years-old.The Queen and her royal staff have taken strict precautions when it comes to her health throughout the pandemic.
She spent several months in isolation at Windsor Castle in 2020, much of that time with the late Duke of Edinburgh. The Queen has attended very few face-to-face royal engagements since then and is often seen wearing a mask and gloves when she does step out.
Though she may not make it to church this year, The Queen is expected to welcome several royal family members to visit her at Balmoral. Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York, have already been seen arriving at Balmoral Castle to join the Queen for part of her stay in Scotland.
Other royals are expected to join them, with talk there will be a family gathering for Princess Anne’s 71st birthday on Sunday. Prince William and Kate Middleton are not expected to attend, as they’re currently vacationing in the Isles of Scilly with their three children. Even so, there will be plenty of space for royals like Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall to drop by.
Balmoral Estate is home to more than 150 buildings, including a number of private royal residences including Charles and Camilla’s Birkhall residence. William and Kate also have a cottage on the grounds, known as Tam-Na-Ghar, which William inherited from the Queen Mother when she died in 2002.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.