Changes to the Queen's plans have sparked fresh fears about her health

Her Majesty's traditional welcome to Balmoral will be a quieter affair this year

(Image credit: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Her Majesty's traditional welcome to Balmoral will be a quieter affair this year

The Queen has had to skip various royal engagements this year, including the Commonwealth Games, a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral and the Epsom Derby. Now Her Majesty has cancelled her traditional welcome to Balmoral Castle, prompting fresh concerns for her health. 

The ceremony marks the start of the Queen’s annual holiday in Scotland, and usually sees Her Majesty greet well-wishers at the castle gates. However, this year’s ceremony has been downsized last minute to a “small, private event”, according to the Mirror

Bar the pandemic, it will be the first time in decades that the Queen has not greeted the public to mark the occasion. 

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“The traditional welcome to Balmoral is normally cemented in the Queen’s calendar and something Her Majesty really enjoys, being able to greet locals who travel to see her,” a royal source told the Mirror. “It’s a bitter disappointment the ceremony will not take place in its traditional form.”

Meanwhile, other sources see the change of plan as “very much a sign of things to come”, according to the newspaper. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 05: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince George of Cambridge on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant on June 05, 2022 in London, England. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952.

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Responding to concerns, Buckingham Palace has said that the private ceremony was “in line with adapting Her Majesty’s schedule for her comfort”.

Royal fans on Twitter were quick to defend the Queen for taking things gently this year.

One Tweeter wrote: “Pared down and private, at home...Much better for her age. We don't have to assume the worst every time.”

“I'd feel weary after the journey from London to Balmoral, never mind a 96 year old..” wrote another. 

After all, having attended major events during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June, including Trooping the Colour, Her Majesty has certainly had a big year. 

Kate Hollowood
Kate Hollowood is a freelance journalist and writes about a range of topics for Marie Claire UK, from reports on royal news and current affairs to features on health, careers and relationships. Based in London, Kate has also written for titles like the i paper, Refinery29, Cosmopolitan and It’s Nice That.