The Queen’s death finally ‘hit’ the Royal Family as they spent first summer at Balmoral without her says royal expert

“I’m sure it’s been very poignant for them”

The Queen
(Image credit: Getty)

A royal expert has said that the Queen’s death would have ‘fully hit’ the rest of the Royal Family while they spent their first summer at Balmoral without her.

It feels unreal that it could already have been a year since the Queen's death. For both the Royal Family and royal fans, marking the poignant day will be bittersweet as we all look back on the life of the late monarch and celebrate her greatest achievements without her. 

Instead of preparing the mark the sad occasion, many people are instead letting themselves be distracted from the upcoming anniversary; some by focusing on Prince Harry's return to the UK, although it will be a short trip, and others by channeling their energy on being 'irritated' like Prince William at the appearance coinciding with the first anniversary of the Queen's passing. But one royal expert believes the Royal Family have only just had time to process the death at all, let alone gear up to mark the first anniversary of it. 

That is because the family have just spent their first summer at Balmoral without the Queen. And, considering how busy all members of The Firm have been since the Queen's state funeral, with the King's Coronation, his birthday parade and, of course, with many balancing their time between royal duties and family life, many of the royals have only just managed to sit down and realise that she is actually gone. 

King Charles, Camilla, the late Queen Elizabeth II and the Wales family on the Buckingham Palace balcony

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Royal expert Hugo Vickers told OK! Magazine, "They have all been so busy, what with the coronation and other commitments, that when they did get up there, I think that yes, it will have hit them.

"Her absence will have been felt and I’m sure it’s been very poignant for them. No one will have been in those rooms since she died.

"But as Proust said, the pain of loss eventually becomes the joy of remembering. If you’ve lost somebody and you go to their house and you see their raincoat and their wellington boots in the hall, it gives you a pang at the beginning.

"But as time goes on, it’s a great pleasure and joy to come across something you remember. That’s the whole process of grief.”

The Queen

(Image credit: Getty)

The holiday was poignant not just because it was the first trip to Balmoral without the late Queen, but because Balmoral Castle was the Queen's favourite place and also the place in which she passed away last year on 8 September 2022. 

She would travel to the Scottish estate every summer for a much-needed break from royal duties as many monarchs before her had done for decades. 

Queen Victoria was the first to use the estate as she was gifted the property in 1852 by her husband, the Queen's great-great grandfather Prince Albert. The estate has not changed much since that time with its 52 bedrooms and endless corridors reportedly decorated with antlers and tartan rugs.

The beautiful home didn't just entice the Queen because of the seclusion away from the hustle and bustle that it offered, though she did appreciate staying in the castle for long periods of time after constantly traveling around the commonwealth, according to Hugo. He revealed, "She [The Queen] said in the Elizabeth R documentary in 1992 that one of the joys about it was that she was able to sleep in the same bed for several weeks on end, instead of forever moving from one place to another."

Really, it was the family time that the royals could enjoy at the Scotland estate that gave it its precious place in the Queen's heart. Hugo said, "She could have her family around her. They all used to come and they could go out and go stalking or riding. She taught the little children to ride ponies there. It was a much more relaxed time for her. She wasn’t one for going on a yacht, or anything like that."

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.