Queen's first Balmoral vacation without Prince Philip will include a special visit from this VIP couple

The Queen is set to welcome two famous guests on her annual Balmoral vacation this summer

Queen's first Balmoral vacation without Prince Philip will include a special visit from this VIP couple
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen is expected to host two VIP guests on her first vacation without Prince Philip next month—but she must get Scotland's approval first. 

The Queen's vacation at Balmoral Castle this year is likely to be a poignant one, but fortunately, it looks like she won't have to face it alone. Her Majesty is expected to return to her official Scotland residence in the next few weeks for her first summer holiday without Prince Philip, who died aged 99 in April. 

The Queen and the late Duke of Edinburgh spent a relaxing six weeks at Balmoral Castle last summer, where they enjoyed walks, picnics, and plenty of fresh air within the confines of a COVID-safe support bubble. Now that UK restrictions are easing up, it's hoped that Her Majesty will be able to entertain guests at the plush 1852 country house. 

View of the Balmoral Castle, Balmoral Castle is a castle located on the River Dee beneath the Lochnagar Mountain, Scotland

Balmoral Castle 

(Image credit: Photo by: Robert Plattner/Oneworld Picture/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

High on the invite list is Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife, Carrie Johnson, according to the Daily Express. The Queen is reportedly eager to meet the couple at Balmoral, having previously hosted them for a short stay in the Aberdeenshire estate in September 2019. 

ST AUSTELL, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and wife Carrie Johnson arrive for a drinks reception for Queen Elizabeth II and G7 leaders at The Eden Project during the G7 Summit on June 11, 2021 in St Austell, Cornwall, England. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, hosts leaders from the USA, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Canada at the G7 Summit. This year the UK has invited India, South Africa, and South Korea to attend the Leaders' Summit as guest countries as well as the EU. (Photo by Jack Hill - WPA Pool / Getty Images)

The Queen meets Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Johnson at the G7 Summit in June 2021 

(Image credit: Jack Hill - WPA Pool / Getty Images))

However, it remains unclear whether or not the British monarch will be allowed to extend the invitation. 

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has announced 9 August as the proposed date for lifting COVID restrictions, but this is subject to change based on infection rates. If the so-called 'Freedom Day' is postponed, the Queen might have to make do with a virtual meeting or phone call.

Boris and Carrie aren't the only people whose Balmoral trip could be canceled. Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla are also expected to pay a visit, along with Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their three children, George, Charlotte, and Louis. The Cambridge kids haven't stayed at the 50,000-acre estate in almost a year now, but are hoping to make the trip up north sometime soon. 

Balmoral Castle, which is located 165km north of the Queen's other Scottish residence of Holyrood, is open to the public every day until 2 August. Preparations will then begin for the monarch's visit the following month. The Royal Family normally stays in the estate's Craigowan Lodge, a seven-bedroom mansion nestled about 1.5km from the main castle. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.