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- It appears the Queen was keen to make Kate Middleton feel welcome on her first visit to Balmoral as she reportedly gave her a rare privilege
- It has since become a family tradition for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with their children, Prince George (opens in new tab), Princess Charlotte (opens in new tab) and Prince Louis (opens in new tab), to visit Scotland each summer.
- In other royal news (opens in new tab), The Queen's acting skills are to be celebrated as she's tipped for BAFTA nomination (opens in new tab) for her Jubilee sketch with Paddington
The Queen's annual summer holiday is a highlight for her and the rest of her family. as she travels to her 50,000 acre Balmoral estate in Scotland (opens in new tab).
Prince William and Kate make a point to head to Scotland each summer along with their children so they can spend time as a family with the Prince's grandmother.
Prince William has been visiting the Scottish Highlands retreat with his family since he was young to spend time with the rest of his royal relatives. But for his wife Kate, her first invite to the private abode came when she started dating her future husband.
Even without confirmation, it is sure to say that Kate would have felt nervous upon receiving the invite, and even more so on the journey up north. But it appears the Queen was keen to make her feel welcome and she reportedly did this by giving her an extremely rare privilege.
Knowing how much the future Duchess loved photography, the Queen gave Kate permission to bring her camera and take pictures of Balmoral and the surrounding dramatic landscape, according to royal author Katie Nicholl (opens in new tab).
While this does not sound like a big deal to the average person - if you don't take some snaps while you're on holiday to post on social media, did you really even go? - Katie explains this simply was not done at the Queen's estate.
In her book, Kate: The Future Queen, she writes: "Until now the Queen had met Kate only fleetingly at the wedding of Peter and Autumn Phillips, but she went out of her way to make her feel welcome, giving her permission to take pictures at Balmoral."
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According to Katie, this gesture and simply just being invited to Balmoral, showed Kate and Prince William that the Queen was ready to let Kate into the inner royal circle.
She added, "As a woman who has lived her entire life in the public eye, the Queen rarely lets her guard down, and very few apart from her family and closest friends get to see the real Elizabeth."
One very famous photo Kate took at Balmoral was released last year following the death of the Queen's husband Prince Philip (opens in new tab). The famous holiday snap shows the Queen and Prince Phillip surrounded by some of their great-grandchildren, all smiling happily.
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The Queen stays at Balmoral throughout August and into September and is currently in residence there.
Throughout her stay, the Queen invites family members to stay with her (opens in new tab) and they take part in a range of holiday activities. The royals are said to love going on walks around the estate's 50,000 acres as well as enjoying picnics and barbecues.
Speaking on the programme Our Queen at 90, Princess Eugenie said, "It's the most beautiful place on earth. I think Granny is the most happy there, I think she really, really loves the Highlands…walks, picnics, dogs, a lot of dogs, there's always dogs, and people coming in and out all the time."
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