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Is Meghan Markle ready for her first summer vacation with the queen?

Is Meghan Markle ready for her first summer vacation with the queen?

She is a Californian accustomed to the sun and to luxury beach holidays.

So Scotland in August could be a shock.

And, to increase the pressure on Meghan Markle, there's the risk of taking a vacation false step when she is dragged into the beautiful estate of a 50,000-acre Highlands property, Balmoral, at the end of this month from her new husband.

A trip to Balmoral, where the queen retires with her entourage for July and August, is a key part of the traditional initiation ceremony of the new royal wife, also endured by Kate (pass), Diana (fail) and Sarah Ferguson (double failure, but, with a series of recent calls, a solid recovery).

The real holidays at Balmoral have been memorable for better or for worse. The British public is accustomed to the annual sighting of the Royals at the games of Highland & # 39; Braemar Gathering & # 39 ;.

More disturbing: the images of Charles, William and Harry emerging from Balmoral after Diana's death, a moment of real history brilliantly dramatized in the film Queen, with Helen Mirren in the role of an HRH who has holed up with the rest of the family in Balmoral, while the family and the country absorb the seismic reverberations of Diana's death. Who can forget Mirren's memorable meeting with a deer in that movie?

The days at Balmoral start with the Queen's Piper, Scott Methven of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, decorated in Royal Stewart's tartan regalia that stand under the queen's window and ring the bagpipes, selecting her daily tune from a list of monarch.

The bagpipe dates back to the time of Queen Victoria, who was an eternal fan of all things Scottish, and believed that every monarch had to start his day at the sound of a piper.

The custom has been partially abandoned in London and Windsor now, but in Scotland, Victoria's most beloved retreat lives and is being watched religiously.

Undoubtedly Harry will let Meghan know that it is bad to come downstairs before the player starts playing at 8:00 in the morning, unless you have sports plans, like trout fishing in the river Dee or stalking the deer red (both activities risk the ever-present attention of voracious Scottish flies). Both require an early departure, but tea and toast can be sent to the room at any time after 7am.

Apart from the sports of blood, the only acceptable excuse to skip breakfast is to make the long journey back to London: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher hated to be "invited" to Balmoral and such was her impatience to leave that he left before having breakfast last day. Pleading for exhaustion after sunrise yoga will not cut it.

The queen herself appears around 8:30 am, and breakfast – she thinks the herrings and porridge are not blended and smashed avocado – is washed away at 9:30 am.

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It is best to avoid, if possible, to be on the front pages of the newspaper when you stay in Balmoral, while another real wife, Fergie, has discovered: he was on holiday in Balmoral when Sun photos published of her with toes sucked on the French Riviera by her American financial adviser.

Fergie recalled that, during breakfast in Balmoral, on the day the news hit the newsstands, the queen and her guests sat "eyes wide open and mouths half open".

After breakfast, assuming there were no front-page exposures, the queen disappears into her office to keep up with her records, and usually will not be seen until the guests gather in the room around noon to try the swollen and leave for an invigorating walk and a picnic.

The post-breakfast pre-lunch window is one of the few moments in which Balmoral's guests can avoid being judged if they choose to return to their rooms for some refreshment, but Meghan is strongly advised to be present and correct for the lunch mission to avoid remembering unfortunate parallels with Princess Diana.

As Robert Lacey wrote in his pocket biography of the queen, A life in short: "The queen understood that there was something wrong with Diana on vacation in Balmoral, Scotland, just after the wedding."

"So we would all be waiting in the hallway," said a guest to Lacey, "doing a polite conversation – and not Diana." A waiter returns with an air of embarrassment, "Sorry Madam, the Princess of Wales will not join the party for lunch." Elizabeth would have been silent, and friends saw the warning signs: her lips puckered, the blink of her eyelashes, and being in your room at lunchtime was something you did only if you were sick or rather weird. "

Meghan should stay in front of poker if Her Majesty takes the wheel of her Land Rover for her lunch trip.

A trained mechanic who worked in the engine pool during World War II, the queen still enjoys taking a ride through the Highlands. In the words of the late cousin Margaret Rhodes, she usually drives "like a bat out of hell". HM is the only person in the UK who does not require a driving license.

In the back of the car, expect to find the two surviving corgi of the queen – her dogs are an integral part of the royal holidays and are taken to Balmoral every year. In 2016, they were photographed arriving at Aberdeen Airport and transported down the stairs of his private jet by a valet.

Pony and multiple horses are also grossed to the north for the summer, as well as the entire herd of Queen's hunting dogs, temporarily moved from their home to Sandringham. The staff was transferred from Buckingham Palace and housed in the iron huts, which were built to house the continuation of the last tsar of Russia when he visited in 1906.

Lunch is usually a picnic, and involves meeting by a river or mountain with one of the sporting parties. Cold roast chicken and a gin and tonic are on the agenda.

The greatest sign of respect and inclusion will be if the queen invites Meghan to a barbecue in Craigowan, a fishing hut in the heart of the estate so loved by her and Prince Philip, where her husband is famous for preparing extravagant barbecue. A question mark hangs over his participation this year as he struggles with old age.

The barbies often present a singalong with the guests who are delivered sheets of songs with printed texts; the number 38, according to Lacey, is "Cockles and Mussels", while 40 is "Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner". All guests, especially those who went to stage school, are expected to participate.

But exhibiting is not beautiful.

The Queen feels great pleasure in playing at Craigowan's house: Tony Blair, recalling one of his "intriguing, surreal and absolutely bizarre" weekend with the royal family at Balmoral, noted that after eating, "The Queen asks if you're done , she stacks the dishes and goes to the sink. "

Another suggestion from the years of Blair: do not yawn if you participate in Braemar Highland Games as did Cherie Blair who "showed a total lack of respect", according to a friend of Her Majesty mentioned by Daily Telegraph.

Scottish traditions are taken seriously in Balmoral. If you offer Scottish dance lessons, for example, Meghan should accept, as it could be a forerunner of an invitation to the highlight of the season, the Ghillie's Ball.

Meghan could also take advice from Kate Middleton, who threw herself into the much-loved outdoor activities of the Windsors at Balmoral – which Diana hated – and as a result got the queen's approval.

Another piece of advice that Kate could transmit: do not sit in Queen Victoria's chair. This is a table chair that has been kept empty by the death of the monarch.

The writer Christopher Andersen in his book Game of crowns he wrote: "During the pre-dinner drinks, Kate started to lower herself in the chair when William, Charles, and the other guests shouted to stop them." Every new person takes care of it, "said Jean Carnarvon, whose husband, the seventh earl of Carnarvon, possessed the fame of Highclere Castle of Downton Abbey, "and everyone screams."

Dinner itself is not a sumptuous affair; starting at 8:30, everything is finished and dusted by 10 pm, leaving the first nights of Californian in the round.

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