It comes on the day that most covid restrictions have been lifted in Scotland
The Queen has been officially welcomed to her private Scottish retreat of Balmoral Castle by a guard of honour – featuring a Shetland pony mascot.
Traditionally the Queen inspects troops when she takes up residence at the castle and, outside the gates, the head of state cast her eye over soldiers from Balaklava Company, 5th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
The Pipes and Drums of the regiment’s 3rd Battalion performed during the ceremony and the Royal Regiment of Scotland’s mascot, Shetland Pony Lance Corporal Cruachan IV, also took part.
The monarch’s annual stay at Balmoral is the first time she has holidayed on her private estate since the death of her husband the Duke of Edinburgh.
Scotland has been a welcome place of sanctuary for the royal family since Queen Victoria’s day as they relax and enjoy country pursuits in the stunning setting of the Highlands.
The Queen is unlikely to be alone for very long as members of her family are invited to spend time with her at Balmoral every summer.