THE Queen has made her traditional appearance at the Braemar Highland Games, along with the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.
The royal party watched pipe bands and dancers perform to a large crowd at the Braemar Gathering in Aberdeenshire.
The event is held each year a short distance from the royals’ summer retreat on the Balmoral estate.
The Queen is patron of the Games and joined thousands of spectators in patchy weather to cheer on participants in the tossing of the caber and tug of war contests. The Queen wore a pale pink coat and matching hat, and as she took her seat in the royal pavilion placed a tartan rug over her lap.
Twelve-year-old triplets Fergus, Fraser and Angus Wood from Braemar presented the Queen with a heather posy.
Secretary of Braemar Royal Highland Society, William Meston, said: “We’re very proud of the connection with the royal family.
“It’s tremendous, and as secretary I’m proud to welcome them every year. It’s great for the whole area.”
Held at the Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park, the Games take place on the first Saturday of every September and attract visitors from around the world.
Queen Victoria first attended the Braemar Gathering in 1848. Since then it has been regularly visited by the reigning monarch and other members of the Royal Family.
Mr Meston said of the popularity of the event: “I think the traditional nature of the Games helps.
“We’ve got a great backdrop with the hills and a great crowd.
“People come from all over the world for the Gathering.”
Traditionally, the royals attend a church service at nearby Crathie Kirk the day after the Games.
The Queen took up residence at Balmoral Castle at the beginning of August and is expected to stay until October before returning to London.