As the Queen spends her traditional summer vacation at her private Scottish home in Balmoral, her grandson Prince William, with his wife Kate and their children, is very likely to join her. But Kate, in particular, is said to have a special relationship with the Queen as the Duchess was still dating Prince William when she was first invited to join the Royal Family at Balmoral.
Famous Royal Family correspondent Katie Nicholl in her book “Kate: The Future Queen” describes this relationship, explaining the special treatment Kate received.
Ms Nicholl suggested the Queen “went out of her way” to make Kate feel welcome as she gave her permission to take pictures of the dramatic scenery, knowing her love for photography.
In her book, the royal expert writes: “Until now, the Queen had only met Kate briefly at the wedding of Peter and Autumn Phillips, but she went out of her way to make her feel welcome, giving him permission to take pictures at Balmoral.”
She added: “As a woman who has lived her whole life in the public eye, the Queen rarely lets her guard down, and very few, other than her closest family and friends, get to see the real Elizabeth.”
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Prime Ministers are traditionally invited to stay with the Queen at Balmoral and in the past Harold Wilson, who reportedly ‘got on like a house on fire’ with the monarch, would join senior royals for picnics at the riverside at Balmoral.
But things were very different with Margaret Thatcher, who reportedly found the traditional September weekend at Balmoral painful.
One observer wrote: ‘A weekend in the country with aristocrats who love horse-riding, shooting, sports and games, that’s Thatcher’s idea of torture.’
Mrs Thatcher couldn’t stand the charades she had to play after dinner at Balmoral.
At a gathering of six of her prime ministers, the Queen once joked about ‘the board games some of you so nobly endured at Balmoral’.