The Queen has “cancelled her traditional reception at Balmoral Castle” and will instead host a “small, private event” amid growing concerns about her health.
The 96-year-old monarch arrived at the Aberdeenshire estate in late July and had planned to attend the event until just days ago.
But the event was canceled yesterday and replaced by the smaller gathering, which is the first time apart from the pandemic that it will not attend the small ceremony just outside the castle.
A royal source told The Mirror: “The traditional reception at Balmoral is usually anchored in the Queen’s calendar and something Her Majesty really enjoys to be able to greet local people traveling to see her.
“It is a great disappointment that the ceremony will not take place in its traditional form.”
Other sources said the change was “a sign of things to come” amid Her Majesty’s episodic mobility issues.
But Buckingham Palace has downplayed concerns about her health, instead saying the private event was “consistent with adjusting Her Majesty’s schedule for her comfort”.
Queen Elizabeth II during an inspection of the Balaklava Company, 5 Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland just outside of Balmoral as they take up residence at the castle as their summer residence. Picture date: Monday August 9, 2021
The Queen inspects whistles and drums from 4 SCOTS Royal Regiment of Scotland just outside Balmoral in 2018
The monarch has been staying at Craigowan Lodge (pictured) since he left Windsor Castle for Scotland on July 21
A moving van arriving at Balmoral Castle on Saturday, having traveled from Windsor Castle
Balmoral has been extremely private for the royals. Although never off duty, the closest thing to a proper holiday came for the Queen and Prince Philip (pictured at Balmoral in 1972).
Last year, the Queen looked radiant in a pink ensemble as she inspected a guard of honor and met the Royal Regiment of Scotland’s mascot, Shetland Pony Lance Corporal Cruachan IV.
The monarch normally stays in Balmoral until early October, with the ceremony officially marking the start of her stay.
But this year she will be attending a private event on the lawns of the castle grounds.
The Queen will inspect the troops as usual, but there will be no television cameras, photographers or reporters present at the event.
The monarch plans to interrupt her Scottish holiday to travel to England and invite her 15th prime minister to form a government, The Mail on Sunday understands.
Boris Johnson has announced he will step down on September 6 when he formally tenders his resignation to the Queen.
The monarch then invites the victorious Tory candidate to become Prime Minister and announces his name.
They are expected to meet the Queen to formally accept the invitation.
The Queen does not normally return from her Balmoral break until early October but is said to have told aides she will make an exception this year and travel to London.
On a summer’s day in 2003, the Countess of Wessex snapped a photo (above) at Balmoral Castle of the Queen and Prince Philip enjoying the scenery and each other’s company
The Queen pictured leaving Aberdeen on July 21 as she was being driven to her official Scottish residence, Balmoral Castle, for her annual summer visit
Two Range Rovers are escorted by a police motorcycle as the Queen left her home in Windsor for her estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on July 21
A source said: “Her Majesty does not expect the new Prime Minister to travel to Scotland so the plan is for the Queen to come down to see her.
Balmoral is said to be Her Majesty’s favorite place to stay, who welcomes her family to the castle during the summer months.
She has been staying at Craigowan Lodge since leaving Windsor Castle for Scotland on 21 July.
It comes after a lorry carrying furniture was pictured outside Balmoral on Saturday after bringing furniture from Windsor.
Balmoral has seen a number of adjustments in recent years, including Craigowan Lodge, which added a wheelchair-accessible elevator last year.
A new security gate, state of the art intercom and a range of new CCTV cameras have also been installed.