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Queen’s official welcome to Balmoral to be held in private

Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to officially open the new building at Thames Hospice, Maidenhead, Berkshire on July 15, 2022 (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to officially open the new building at Thames Hospice, Maidenhead, Berkshire on July 15, 2022 (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

The Queen’s traditional welcome to Balmoral Castle by a guard of honour will be held privately this year for her “comfort”, sources have said.

A military unit is normally inspected by the monarch at the gates of her Scottish retreat to mark the Queen taking up residence at her home.

But the event will be held behind the gates on Tuesday inside the grounds of Balmoral, with a source saying “This is a change in line with events being adapted for Her Majesty’s comfort”.

The Queen has faced episodic mobility issues since last autumn and now regularly uses a walking stick, with some of her official engagements this year shorter in length then would have been expected.

Centenary of the Royal British Legion
The Queen has been using a stick to aid her walking for much of the year (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

She missed much of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations during the extended Bank Holiday weekend in June but did make two separate brief appearances on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

The Queen, who travelled to Scotland on July 21, is believed to have been staying at a property on her estate and will move to her main Balmoral home on Tuesday.

The monarch is unlikely to be alone for very long as members of her family are invited to spend time with her at Balmoral every summer.

She is also expected to break her summer holiday and travel back to England to hold audiences with the outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his successor in early September.