Queen Elizabeth to forego tradition during summer break: 'There obviously remains some concern'
Queen Elizabeth has arrived in Scotland for her annual summer stay at Balmoral Castle, her first since the loss of Prince Philip in April.
While Her Majesty, 95, looked delighted to have arrived at one of her favourite locations and is sure to be looking forward to spending time with family who are expected to visit over the next two months, there is one tradition she will be foregoing.
The Queen is expected to skip church services at Crathie Kirk due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While vaccination rates are high enough in the UK for most restrictions to have lifted, it is understood the precaution is being taken to protect the ageing royal.
Royal correspondent Richard Palmer tweeted the news: "Details of Virginia Giuffre's lawsuit against Prince Andrew emerged too late for first editions but our night desk changed up for later editions today.
"We also report that the Queen is expected to skip church services at Crathie Kirk while at Balmoral this summer."
In a separate tweet he explained: "My attempt to explain why the Queen currently intends to avoid Crathie Kirk services has been edited out for space but the Queen has generally worshipped privately during the pandemic.
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"Worshippers in Scotland still have to wear face masks in church and give contact details.
"With the Scottish government still urging caution, there obviously remains some concern and a desire to limit the risks to a 95-year-old monarch."
He added that "wearing a face mask throughout a church service may not be to her liking either".
Queen Elizabeth is the head of the Church of England and would typically greet crowds that gathered as she arrived for services on Sundays.
This year, Her Majesty is expected to remain at Balmoral Castle for majority of her summer stay. Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall are expected to join her for part of the summer, as are the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, three.
Prince Andrew and ex-wife Sarah Ferguson have already joined Her Majesty for the summer. The pair were spotted arriving at the residence in a Range Rover being driven by Andrew, 61.
The first family gathering for the royals is expected to be for Princess Anne's 71st birthday on August 15.
Also expected to join the Queen at Balmorial, Prince Edward, 57, and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 56, are also likely to visit with their children Lady Louise, 17, and James, 13.
Upon the Queen's arrival in Scotland Buckingham Palace tweeted: "The Queen has arrived at Balmoral Castle for her summer break.
"In a small ceremony outside the Castle gates, Her Majesty inspected a Guard of Honour formed of the @5_scots, Balaklava Company, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland."
Queen Elizabeth II in pictures