The Queen, accompanied by her two eldest children, attended this year’s Braemar Gathering at the Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park in Braemar, Aberdeenshire. The event has the regular attendance of the monarch ever since Queen Victoria first showed up in 1848, and, held on the first Saturday of September, it coincides perfectly with when the sovereign is in residence at Balmoral Castle.
The Queen serves as the patron of the Braemar Gathering, organized by the Braemar Royal Highland Society. Throughout the day, it features traditional games and competitions like hammer throwing and tug of war, as well as performances of pipe music and dancing. She has been regularly attending since 1933 when she was first brought by her parents during the reign of her grandfather, George V.
Prior to the event itself, the Queen opened the Duke of Rothesay Highland Games Pavilion and viewed an exhibition which included a picture of Queen Victoria. The pavilion’s name reflects the Prince of Wales’s Scottish title – the dukedom of Rothesay being the traditional title given to the Scottish sovereign’s eldest son.
Long-time readers of this site know that my favorite engagements tend to be when multiple generations of the Royal Family are gathered together and today is no exception. While we regularly see Charles and Anne at larger family events, it’s rarer for the two of them to appear in public in a smaller group like this, or for them to both attend to their mother together.
Younger generations have certainly turned up for this gathering in the past, but its timing makes it trickier once school-aged children enter the mix. As far as I can tell, neither the Duke of Cambridge nor the Duke of Sussex have gone in over a decade, while the most recent attendee from the under-40 crowd was Peter Phillips three years ago. The Duchess of Cornwall and, once upon a time, the Duke of Edinburgh, have been regular features, while the late Princess of Wales was no stranger to it in her day.
Quite likely, neither William nor the Duchess of Cambridge will make this is a regular part of their calendar until the next reign.
Harry and the Duchess of Sussex are due to carry out two engagements this week, which we’ll cover here. William, too, will make his return to the autumn with solo engagements, while Prince George is due to return to school on Thursday. Still no word on when Kate will make her debut. Solo appearances for William have already been scheduled for the week of the 10th, so we’ll have to wait and see what Kensington Palace in store for Kate and Meghan the rest of the month.