King Charles retreats to Balmoral to privately mourn Elizabeth II’s death

Underlining its importance to her, it showed the late Queen in the wilds of the Scottish hills surrounded by heather.

Taken in 1971 by her cousin, the Fifth Earl of Lichfield – a photographer whose archive contains a treasure trove of images of the off-duty Royal family over numerous Balmoral summers – it is thought to be previously unseen. It was retrieved from the royal archives to commemorate Her Majesty’s death.

A caption, posted online, echoed the Shakespeare quote used by the King in his first television address to the nation to say: “May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.”

It added: “In loving memory of Her Majesty The Queen. 1926-2022.”

The King has previously considered Highgrove to be his personal sanctuary, briefly returning there for a night away from the London spotlight between the late Queen’s death and her funeral.

The King has asked the Royal family to observe another week of royal mourning, in which they are not expected to make public appearances.

Some events have been cancelled and, although senior members of the Royal family will be permitted to visit patronages or thank the public where it feels appropriate, there are currently no plans to do so in the coming days.

Once the mourning period is over, there will be a phased period back to working life – starting with military or charity engagements, before working members of the Royal family continue with their personal projects and causes.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will observe the same protocol.

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