Prince William, Kate Middleton and their children spend ‘special’ week at Balmoral with the Queen

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children have spent a ‘special’ week on holiday with the Queen at Balmoral, a royal expert has claimed.

Prince William and Kate Middleton, both 38, as well as Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, three, ‘lifted the monarch’ with their visit to her Scottish estate in Aberdeenshire over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Register Vanity Fair, Katie Nicholl revealed that the occasion marked the first time the family had come together for a trip since Prince Philip’s death in April.

She said the Cambridges had enjoyed ‘long walks in the countryside, fishing, horse riding and cycling’, and a source added: ‘William, Kate and the children have enjoyed some family time in Scotland and they have just had some special time spent with the queen.’

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, three, spent a holiday with the Queen at Balmoral last week, according to Vanity Fair's Katie Nicholl.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, three, spent a holiday with the Queen at Balmoral last week, according to Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl.

Meanwhile, another insider revealed that the annual trip in the last week of August had become a family tradition, with the monarch reserving the Bank Holiday weekend for time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

They said, ‘In the past it has become one big sleepover with many of the Queen’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her Majesty is enjoying it immensely.’

The royal expert also reported that the Queen has been known to leave gifts for her grandchildren on their beds during their stay in Balmoral.

The monarch arrived at the Aberdeenshire estate in late July and usually stays there until early October.

The royal expert said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children are 'cheering the monarch' with their visit to her beloved Scottish estate in Aberdeenshire over the Bank Holiday weekend

The royal expert said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children are 'cheering the monarch' with their visit to her beloved Scottish estate in Aberdeenshire over the Bank Holiday weekend

The royal expert said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children are ‘cheering the monarch’ with their visit to her beloved Scottish estate in Aberdeenshire over the Bank Holiday weekend

It marks the Queen’s first summer holiday at her Scottish estate since the death of the Duke of Edinburgh in April, at the age of 99.

It comes after a source claimed the Queen was “itching to get things back to normal” during her annual break in and hoped to host a barbecue for the royal family at the castle.

A source told The Sun: “The family barbecues are back on the agenda, even without Philip being there for the first time.”

Meanwhile, it was also revealed that Fergie had been invited to stay at the Queen’s Scottish retreat this summer.

Meanwhile, another insider revealed that the annual trip in the last week of August had become a family tradition (pictured, the Cambridges with the Queen and Prince Philip at the Scottish estate in 2015)

Meanwhile, another insider revealed that the annual trip in the last week of August had become a family tradition (pictured, the Cambridges with the Queen and Prince Philip at the Scottish estate in 2015)

Meanwhile, another insider revealed that the annual trip in the last week of August had become a family tradition (pictured, the Cambridges with the Queen and Prince Philip at the Scottish estate in 2015)

“Sarah Ferguson is coming,” a source told Richard Eden. “She’ll be here with Andrew.” It’s not clear if Fergie and Andrew will be joined by their daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

The stay at Balmoral will no doubt be bittersweet for the Queen, who enjoyed many happy memories with her late husband on the estate.

Though they were never actually off duty, the closest thing the Queen and Prince Philip would have was a real vacation.

There would be rough, booze-fuelled evenings and jovial house parties, and quiet days with old-fashioned board games by the fire as the rain trickled down outside.

The stay at Balmoral will no doubt be bittersweet for the Queen, who enjoyed many happy memories with her late husband at the estate (photo, a photo released by the Queen in April of herself and Philip in the hills near Balmoral)

The stay at Balmoral will no doubt be bittersweet for the Queen, who enjoyed many happy memories with her late husband at the estate (photo, a photo released by the Queen in April of herself and Philip in the hills near Balmoral)

The stay at Balmoral will no doubt be bittersweet for the Queen, who enjoyed many happy memories with her late husband at the estate (photo, a photo released by the Queen in April of herself and Philip in the hills near Balmoral)

Then there was the famous ghillies ball that took place every October, with invitations to the house and estate staff, as well as neighbors and friends.

A real ‘upstairs’ event, it was never complete without Scottish country dancing and if you were lucky enough to receive an invite, you could quite easily find yourself being flung across the dance floor by the Prince himself, resplendent in a kilt and smiling.

In April, the Queen released a photo of herself and Philip in the hills near Balmoral.

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