The Royal Family today gathered at church in Balmoral as they enjoy the first summer break at the royal estate since the Queen spent her final days there before her death a year ago.
As the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II‘s passing approaches, all senior working royals were seen going to church near the grounds of the estate where she died on September 8, last year.
King Charles and Queen Camilla were joined by his son Prince William and daughter-in-law Princess Catherine for their traditional Sunday morning service.
Also pictured going to Crathie Kirk church was Lady Susan Hussey, who was the late Queen’s lady-in-waiting and was one of her closest confidents.
The Prince and Princess of Wales were pictured going to Sunday church at Balmoral this morning
King Charles and Queen Camilla were among the group, having spent their summer break at the Scottish estate
The gathering is the first time such a large number of royals have gathered at the Scottish estate since Queen Elizabeth died on September 8, last year.
A sudden decline in her health at the age of 96 had sparked a rush from senior royals to see her at the Aberdeenshire castle last year, but many were unable to make it before she passed away.
Buckingham Palace had stated that King Charles intended to spend the anniversary of her death quietly reflecting at Balmoral while hosting visits from family and friends.
While the King and Queen Camilla are known to prefer staying at Birkhall, their private home on the Aberdeenshire estate, Charles has bucked his preferences for tradition to honour his late mother.
He will stay at the Scottish residence for three weeks, meaning he will be there on the anniversary of his mother’s death next month.
Yesterday the King, joined by Queen Camilla, took part in a traditional ceremony to present a new colour to the Royal Guard
The ceremony saw the use of a new colour, called the Ballater Colour, which is to be used by the Royal Guard as it marks a new monarch.
It is used by the soldiers who guard Balmoral Castle while the King is in residence during the summer months.
Prince Andrew was driven to the church by Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales
Lady Susan Hussey, the late Queen’s lady-in-waiting, was also seen among the group heading to church this morning
The castle was where the last photo of Queen Elizabeth II was taken before she passed away in September last year. Pictured: Her Majesty in the Drawing Room at Balmoral before having an audience with then-Prime Minister Liz Truss, two days before she died
Prince Edward was seen driving a car containing his wife Sophie, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence and Princess Anne to church
Members of the Royal Regiment of Scotland form a guard of honour for the Royal Family at Crathie church this morning
Soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland march away from Crathie church for Sunday service
Last year, the military ceremony took place behind closed doors to maximise the comfort of the Queen, who was in failing health.
It was reported that most members of the Royal Family were expected to visit at some point or another during the the King’s stay at Balmoral.
The Prince and Princess of Wales, as well as their three children George, Charlotte and Louis, were expected to arrive as were Princess Anne and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and their two children were also be expected to visit.
However, there were question marks over whether Prince Andrew, who used to stay at the castle with his ex-wife, Sarah, and their two daughters at the start of August every year would be there.
The King put the kibosh on their visit by extending opening times to the public by two weeks.
But this seems to have been brought to an amicable conclusion after Charles ‘extended an olive branch’ to his younger brother by inviting him and his ex-wife to the summer gathering.
Andrew, 63, drove himself to the 50,000-acre estate on Royal Deeside before later being accompanied by Sarah, who flew to Aberdeen. The pair are staying at the seven-bedroom Craigowan Lodge on the estate – favoured by the late Queen.
A royal insider insisted it was ‘not a snub’ the pair were staying at the lodge instead of the main house, telling the Express: ‘The King and Andrew are now on much better terms and making him the first member of the family to join him is an olive branch.’
King Charles donned a kilt and traditional Scottish dress as he inspected a military unit as he arrived at Balmoral last week
King Charles III meets the Royal Regiment of Scotland mascot Shetland pony, Corporal Cruachan IV as he arrives at Balmoral last week