‘Bitter disappointment’ Queen’s major summer diary shake-up sparks fresh health fears

Queen's Balmoral estate 'changed' to aid 'mobility' says expert

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The monarch, 96, usually greets well-wishers at the gates of Balmoral to mark the start of her annual summer break in the Scottish Highlands. But the ceremony tomorrow has been cancelled and replaced with a “small, private event”.

It comes amid heightened concern for the Queen’s health amid her episodic mobility problems.

A royal source told the Mirror: “The traditional welcome to Balmoral is normally cemented in the Queen’s calendar and something Her Majesty really enjoys, being able to greet locals who travel to see her.

“It’s a bitter disappointment the ceremony will not take place in its traditional form.”

Other sources added that the alternative plan was “very much a sign of things to come”.

Buckingham Palace said the private ceremony was “in line with adapting Her Majesty’s schedule for her comfort”.

It is understood that until just days ago there were plans for the traditional welcome.

It is the first time in decades, apart from during the Covid pandemic, that the head of state will not greet well-wishers outside her Scottish private residence to kick off her annual summer holiday.

The ceremony traditionally sees the Queen inspect a Guard of Honour from Balaklava Company, 5th Battalion, The Royal ­Regiment of Scotland.

Last year she enjoyed a performance from The Pipes and Drums of the regiment’s 3rd Battalion.

The monarch, who serves as Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, also met its mascot Shetland Pony Lance Corporal Cruachan IV.

This year she will attend a private ceremony inside the grounds of Balmoral.

She will still inspect soldiers but there will be no media present.

Every summer the Queen heads to her private residence in Aberdeenshire where she is joined by other members of the Royal Family.

Balmoral has been a welcome place of sanctuary for the royals since Queen Victoria’s day as they country pursuits in the Highlands.

Despite being on holiday, work still continues for the Queen as every day she receives from Government ministers, and from her representatives in the Commonwealth and foreign countries, information in the form of policy papers, Cabinet documents and other State papers for her attention.

It comes as the Queen, who celebrated her Platinum Jubilee earlier this year, now rarely carries out engagements outside of her royal residences.

The nation’s longest-reigning monarch has been suffering from ongoing mobility issues.

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