Prince George and Princess Charlotte are currently enjoying some time up in Scotland with their parents at the sprawling family estate of Balmoral.
It was revealed that the family were visiting the Queen and Prince Philip during their summer retreat in the highlands when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were snapped attended a Sunday church service with the rest of the royals at Crathie Kirk.
Although Prince George and Princess Charlotte were not seen in the car along with their parents, it is thought that the two tots would have been back at the castle, in the care of their nanny.
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With September and the start of ‘big school’ looming for Prince George, as well as the family’s imminent move to Kensington Palace from their private countryside retreat in Norfolk, a trip to Balmoral will have provided the family with some much-desired freedom and quality family time before they are once again thrust into the spotlight.
Unlike the family’s official visit to Poland and Germany at the beginning of the summer, a trip up to Balmoral, surrounded by the vast grounds and beautiful Scottish wilderness, provides Catherine, William and their children with some much sought-after privacy and freedom away from prying eyes.
The atmosphere at Balmoral is much more informal than at Buckingham Palace or the Queen’s Sandrigham estate. Functioning like any normal family, everyone mucks in to help with jobs like the cooking and cleaning, and dinner time is almost always a family affair. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair once revealed that the Queen is especially partial to doing the washing up after supper.
(The Queen enjoys some time off in Scotland)
“You think I’m joking, but I’m not’ Blair said. “They put the gloves on and stick their hands in the sink. The Queen asks if you’ve finished, she stacks the plates up and goes off to the sink.”
If the rain holds out, it is apparently not uncommon to find the Duke of Edinburgh grilling sausages over a barbeque for the rest of the royals to enjoy.
The Duke of Edinburgh is in charge of the Balmoral estate and one of his primary focuses is on maintaining the grounds for future generations. Prince George, who is known to love the great outdoors like the rest of the royal family, and takes a great interested in nature, will no doubt have loved running around the gardens and exploring the heather-covered hills and valleys of the estate during his visit.
(Summer at Balmoral Prince George will no doubt enjoy playing outside in the vast grounds)
Prince George and Princess Charlotte will likely have been enjoying picnics, home cinema evenings, family games and bracing walks during their holiday at Blamoral – all regular activities at the Castle during the summer months. As well as fishing on the river Dee and grouse shoots for the adults – which the Duke of Cambridge is known to particularly enjoy.
(Prince George and the family dog, Lupo)
Although Princess Charlotte might still be a little young, parlour games such as charades are particularly popular with the family after supper each evening. These games have been “so nobly endured”, as the Queen put it in her own words, by all of the castle’s esteemed and privileged guests.
Princess Eugenie gave a brief insight into what life might be like for Prince George and Princess Charlotte while they enjoy the last weeks of their summer holiday up in Scotland.
“Walks, picnics, dogs – a lot of dogs, there’s always dogs – and people coming in and out all the time” she revealed earlier this year during an appearance on ITV’s Our Queen At Ninety.
“It’s a lovely base for Granny and Grandpa, for us to come and see them up there; where you just have room to breathe and run.”
“It’s the most beautiful place on earth,” she added. “I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands.”