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Queen Elizabeth Just Kept a 171-Year-Old Royal Tradition Alive on Vacation
Duncan McGlynn/Getty Images

Every year, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip retire to their summer home at Balmoral Castle for some well-earned rest and relaxation from August to September. There, the 93-year-old queen is free to decompress from stately matters with horseback rides and pastoral jaunts. But there’s one royal tradition she continues to observe while on summer vacay: going to church. 

Her Majesty visited Crathie Kirk Church before services began yesterday, Sunday, August 11, as is tradition. The church, which is located in Crathie of Aberdeenshire (the town in Scotland where Balmoral Castle is), has been a staple of royal summer vacations long before Queen Elizabeth began her reign.

Queen Victoria was the first monarch to worship at the church in 1848 and since then, every British king or queen has attended services there while staying at the nearby Balmoral Castle.

For her trip to church, Queen Elizabeth was driven in one of her Rolls-Royce Phantoms while her son Prince Andrew sat alongside her. Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles drove separately (the Prince of Wales manned the wheel) to the Sunday service.

Along the way, the queen smiled and waved at townsfolk while wearing an ornate ballerina pink and white tweed jacket with a matching hat. In classic Queen Elizabeth fashion, the hat was also festooned with a large flower. She completed the look with her signature pearls, wearing both pearl earrings and a three-strand pearl necklace, as well as a brightly colored jeweled brooch. Basically, her outfit was the epitome of church clothes.

Her grandchildren Prince William, Prince Harry and their families didn’t join, but they are expected to pop into Balmoral at some point this summer. Now we wait…

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