The Royals Are Planning a Huge Family Reunion in Balmoral

Nearly everyone is expected to attend for the first summer trip of King Charles’ reign except Prince Harry and Meghan Markle—but the family is reportedly hopeful that their relationship “can be rebuilt.”
The Royals Are Planning a Huge Family Reunion in Balmoral
From Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

In mid-August, King Charles III and Queen Camilla plan to continue Queen Elizabeth’s long tradition of hosting her family on the Balmoral Estate for a summer vacation, and most members of the family are expected to make the trip north to the castle where the late queen spent her final days. According to the Daily Mail, this includes Prince William, Princess Kate, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Prince Edward, Duchess Sophie, and even Prince Andrew. The tabloid notes that the guest list includes all of the late queen’s grandchildren—except Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, who have an “open invitation” but have, as usual, seemingly chosen not to make the trip.

“It’s been a very visibly challenging year when it comes to the Sussexes,” a source close to the family told the Mail, adding that Harry and Charles continue to not be on good terms. That said, the royals are reportedly optimistic that Meghan and Harry have been turning their attention to what comes next instead of looking back towards the past. “If true, that can only be a good thing and may offer a sliver of hope that at some point in the future personal relationships can be rebuilt.”

Another source told the Mail that the relationship between William and Harry still seems strained, but to William, the topic is off-limits. “You can read the room on that as to where things are [between them],” the source said. “'It’s sad, but it is what it is. This is a family as well as an institution.”

The family’s estate in the northern tip of Scotland has become famous for outdoors activities that have proven fearsome to outsiders, as The Crown depicted memorably in its season 4 episode “The Balmoral Test.” But the trip up north is also an opportunity for the family to relax and enjoy some togetherness, hosting barbecues and going on hikes. The late queen was even known to host a castle slumber party for her handful of great-grandchildren during her later years.

So far, it’s not clear exactly how the new king plans to shake things up at the estate, but the Mail reports that he is keeping to a few traditional events, including the Ghillies Ball, an end-of-summer celebration where the royals dress in tartans and party with their staff. According to one local, there are hopes that he might even take to the grill for one of those famous barbecues. “'Nothing can stay stuck in time forever, but Balmoral wouldn't be the same without its barbecues,” the Mail’s source said. “It’s one of the many things that will be the same, but different, with the new boss.”

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