Kate Middleton is gearing up for her and Prince William’s August visit to the Royal family’s Scottish vacation home, Balmoral—a visit which the Queen is hoping will allow her to better get to know the newest member of the Royal family.
“Kate has never had an invitation before to stay at Balmoral, but she is family now and the Queen wants to get to know her,” Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty, tells the Daily Mail. “This is quite an important visit for Kate because believe it or not, the Queen does not really know her very well at all.”
It’s a longstanding tradition that the Queen and her husband Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, spend a few weeks every August and September at Balmoral. Prince Charles, along with his wife Camilla, also typically joins his parents, as well as other Royal offspring and their families.
Aside from getting to know her in-laws better, Kate is also expected to meet with Balmoral’s staff, essentially to size them up as her future servants. “The Queen will want Kate to meet all the staff,” says Seward. “One day she will be responsible for them. There will be a three-line whip on to introduce her to everyone. The Queen needs to present Kate to Scotland. The time has come.”
Among the activities that typically happen on these Royal retreats are picnics, home-cinema evenings and barbecues, where Prince Phillip insists on cooking the sausages and steaks.
The Queen and Phillip are expected to head to Balmoral after the July 30 wedding of their granddaughter Zara Phillips in Edinburgh. As for William and Kate, “It is likely to be around the end of August, but the dates may change because of William’s shift patterns as an RAF [Royal Air Force] search and rescue pilot,” a Royal source told the Daily Mail.
Although William and Kate’s upcoming visit to Balmoral is noteworthy, they’re not strangers to the estate: When they were students at St. Andrew’s University, they spent time at a cottage on the property on school breaks.
“One thing for sure is that they both love the estate and Scotland,” says Seward. “It is where they met and fell in love.”
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