The Queen has begun her traditional summer break in Scotland after a busy few months.
The monarch’s annual stay at Balmoral will be the first time she has holidayed on her private estate since the death of her husband the Duke of Edinburgh.
Scotland has been a welcome place of sanctuary for the royal family since Queen Victoria’s day, where they relax and enjoy country pursuits in the stunning setting of the Scottish highlands.
The Queen is unlikely to be alone for very long as members of her family are invited to spend time with her at Balmoral every summer.
A picture released following Philip’s death in April showed the Queen and her late husband surrounded by their great grandchildren at their Scottish home.
The start of the Queen’s stay in Scotland is traditionally marked by a guard of honour which turns out at Balmoral Castle a few days after she arrives.
But the work still continues for the head of state, who travelled to Scotland from her Windsor Castle home.
Every day of every year, wherever she is, the Queen receives from Government ministers, and from her representatives in the Commonwealth and foreign countries, information in the form of policy papers, Cabinet documents, and other State papers.
These are sent up to her by private secretaries in the red boxes also used by Government ministers to carry confidential documents.