Prince George, Charlotte and Louis preparing for bittersweet end to the summer with the breaking of this royal tradition

The Wales kids are preparing to go on their usual yet slightly different holiday this year

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis walk down the ramp of a C17 place during their visit to the Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on July 14, 2023 in Fairford, England
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince George, Charlotte and Louis' are set to have a bittersweet ending to the school holidays when they join King Charles in Balmoral for their annual summer break - the first without the late Queen Elizabeth II.

But the notable absence of the late monarch isn't the only tradition that is set to change as for the first time, as neither a monarch (King Charles) nor the Wales family will be staying overnight at Balmoral. And if you're wondering where is Balmoral Castle? there's still plenty of time to visit the region ahead of when the school holiday terms dates start.

King Charles has already arrived at the Scottish royal residency to take up his summer residence at the castle and he was officially welcomed with a small ceremony outside the Castle gates.

The Monarch wore a kilt as he took part in proceedings which included an inspection of the Guard of Honour formed of the Balaklava Company, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, under the Command of Major Robert Weir.

But as other royal family members prepare to join him, he is said to be breaking royal tradition this year by choosing to stay overnight at Birkhall instead of Balmoral.

Birkhall is King Charles and Queen Camilla's residence on the Balmoral Estate, and staying there this year leaves the Scottish retreat without a monarch physically in residence for the first time since the 19th century.

King Charles III inspects Balaklava Company, 5th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, at the gates of Balmoral, as he takes up summer residence at Balmoral Castle on August 21, 2023

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's understood that Prince William and Kate Middleton won't sleep at Balmoral Castle with their children either, instead they have their own place to stay - a three-bedroom cottage called Tam-Na-Ghar, which was gifted to William by his late Great Grandmother the Queen Mother before her death in 2002.

It's likely that Prince George, 10, and Prince Louis, five, will have to share a room, leaving Princess Charlotte, eight, in her own room and parents Kate and William in the other.

The summer stay is also expected to be a poignant one for all the royal family, as it will be the first spent without the late Queen Elizabeth II who died aged 96 last September.

In other royal news, here's the fun tradition that marks the end of the royal family's summer stay in Balmoral and the sweet tradition Princess Diana began with Prince William.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)