The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have arrived in Scotland for the start of their summer holiday.
The couple travelled by private jet from RAF Northolt, in west London, to Aberdeen airport where they were met by driver and taken to Balmoral, roughly an hour away.
The Queen was dressed in an elegant powder blue jacket when she boarded the flight but had changed into a raincoat and hat before landing. The Duke of Edinburgh wore a practical waterproof coat over his collared shirt and jumper.
The couple were followed off the plane by royal aides carrying luggage and their faithful dorgis – a cross between a dachshund and a Welsh corgi.
Balmoral will be a welcome change of scenery for the Queen, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, who have been in isolation at Windsor Castle since March.
As is tradition, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will spend several weeks in Scotland and are expected to return in early October.
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The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have arrived in Scotland for the start of their summer holiday. The couple travelled by private jet from RAF Northolt, in west London, to Aberdeen airport where they were met by driver, pictured
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are en route to Balmoral for the start of their summer holiday. The couple were seen arriving at RAF Northolt, west London, ahead of their flight
The Queen, pictured, arrived at RAF Northolt in the back of a chauffeur-driven car ahead of the flight. She and Prince Philip will remain at Balmoral, in Aberdeenshire, until early October
Royal ride? Shortly after the royals arrived at RAF Northolt, an Embraer Legacy 600 G-THFC (Tottenham Hotspur Football Club), pictured, belonging to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, took off from the airfield. The couple will fly direct to Aberdeenshire, in Scotland
A group of aides have already travelled up to the Scottish home of the Royal Family to prepare the castle for the couple’s arrival. The Queen and Philip will stay in the main castle, pictured
A group of royal aides travelled up to the sprawling 50,000-acre Scottish estate ahead of today to prepare the castle for the couple’s arrival.
It is understood staff quarantined for two weeks in order to minimise the risk of the Queen or Prince Philip, who are both in their 90s, being exposed to Covid-19.
Reports suggest the hand-picked team of royal aides who will join the couple include Vice-Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt, master of the household; Sir Edward Young, the Queen’s private secretary, and Paul Whybrew and William Henderson, her pages.
Major Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah, her equerry; Terry Pendry, her head groom; Angela Kelly, the Queen’s personal assistant and her senior dresser; Jackie Newbold, Kelly’s PA; and three assistant dressers will also join, according to The Sunday Times.
It is thought staff will minimise their contact with people outside the royal household in order to create a ‘Balmoral bubble’ designed to keep the Queen and Prince Philip safe.
Measures will also be taken if any members of the royal family come to visit. Typically the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are joined by their children and grandchildren, as well as close friends, throughout the summer holiday.
The couple, who have been isolating at Windsor Castle since March, travelled by car from Windsor to RAF Northolt, west London, ahead of their private flight to Aberdeenshire
The Duke of Edinburgh, 98, was dapper in a yellow collard shirt and green jumper as he travelled in the back of a car for the flight to Aberdeenshire this afternoon
The Queen looked perfectly made up with a slick of berry-coloured lipstick and expertly coiffed hair as she arrived at the airfield with the Duke of Edinburgh
However this year any visitors, who typically include the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex, will likely maintain social distancing while on site.
Family members will not stay in the castle with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh as they have done in previous years and will instead be housed in other properties in the grounds of the 50,000-acre estate.
They will be able to meet her for outside activities instead including walks, horse riding and picnics.
Previous reports suggest Balmoral staff have been banned from social activity and the annual Ghillies Ball has also been cancelled due to coronavirus.
An insider told the Mail on Sunday ‘stir-crazy’ aides are staying in the New Block, a dull granite building with a dozen bedrooms outside near the castle.
The insider said: ‘Without all the normal facilities which make a stay pleasant for staff, everyone’s saying it’s like being in Colditz, the prisoner of war camp.
‘It’s the assignment from hell because there is absolutely nothing people can do. The social club remains shut and the staff bar closed. With so little to do they’re going stir-crazy.’
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are expected to fly to Balmoral today for the start of their summer holiday. Pictured, the couple in June at Windsor Castle
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have been isolating at Windsor Castle with a reduced household since March 19. Pictured, the quiet streets around Windsor last month
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have been isolating at Windsor Castle with a reduced household since March 19.
Although she has been unable to carry out many engagements in person, the Queen has remained active in her royal duties, taking part in video call meetings and conducting her weekly audience with the Prime Minister via telephone.
Meanwhile the Duke of Edinburgh recently came out of retirement to perform a long-distance royal engagement with his daughter-in-law the Duchess of Cornwall, who remained in Gloucestershire.
The couple were most recently seen together at the wedding of their granddaughter Princess Beatrice, 31, and property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, who tied the knot in secret on 17 July at Royal Chapel of All Saints, Windsor.
That same day the Queen knighted Colonel Sir Tom Moore, 100, in recognition of his extraordinary fundraising efforts.
At one point it was feared Covid-19 travel restrictions would scupper the Queen’s annual summer getaway.