The Queen, 96, traveled to Edinburgh by Royal Train and was joined by her son Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex for a ceremony at the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Queen Elizabeth is back in Scotland!
The 96-year-old monarch traveled by Royal Train overnight to Edinburgh and will be based at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, her official residence in the Scottish capital — for the next several days as members of the royal family carry out a series of public duties.
The Queen was pictured smiling and holding her walking cane (which she has used frequently since last fall) as she appeared for the historic Ceremony of the Keys on Monday morning. During the ceremony, the monarch is handed the keys of the city of Edinburgh and welcomed to “your ancient and hereditary kingdom of Scotland.”
Although she has received audiences at her Windsor Castle home, the outing on Monday marked her first public appearance since her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in early June. The Queen was absent from all five days of Royal Ascot earlier this month — one of her go-to events.
On Monday, the Queen was joined by her youngest son Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex (known by their Scottish titles the Earl and Countess of Forfar when they’re in Scotland.)
With pipers and drummers from the Royal Highland Fusiliers and the Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland providing the musical accompaniment for the ceremony, the Queen received the keys, which were presented to her on a red velvet cushion.
During the week, there will be a garden party attended by Prince Charles, Edward and Sophie and Princess Anne, and an investiture ceremony of Scottish people receiving honors from the Queen. She may also hold an audience with the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, but it’s unknown how much the Queen will be seen.
As has become the norm as she battles her ongoing mobility issues, Buckingham Palace only confirmed in the hours beforehand that the Queen had made the journey north to Scotland from Windsor Castle.
Last week, it emerged that the Queen has been horse-riding again after a hiatus due to “discomfort.” A royal source told PEOPLE: “At 96, it’s amazing that the Queen has been on her horse.”[via]