LADY LOUISE WINDSOR is said to be the Queen’s favourite grandchild and she has Balmoral to thank for it.
Her Majesty, 94, was pictured out walking near the Scottish royal residence on Saturday, where she has gone to spend her summer holiday with Prince Philip, 99. She was walking with what appeared to be her son Prince Edward, his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex and their children Lady Louise Windsor, 16 and James, Viscount Severn, 12. The monarch is known to have a close relationship with the Wessexes and Louise and James are believed to be her favourite grandchildren, in part because they “relish” their time at Balmoral with her.
A royal insider said last year: “The Queen loves the fact that Louise and James relish their time at Balmoral and she has become particularly close to Louise, who seems to have become her favourite grandchild, closely followed by James.”
This would put Louise and James higher in the Queen’s rankings than Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall.
The Queen probably loves the fact Louise enjoys Balmoral so much, because it is where she herself is said to be happiest.
Despite having all the resources to go on luxury holidays abroad, the Queen and Philip have always opted to spend the summer in the Highlands, where they do activities like walking, horse-riding, shooting and fishing with other members of the Royal Family.
Lady Louise Windsor is apparently the Queen’s favourite grandchild (Image: GETTY)
Balmoral Castle (Image: GETTY)
The royal couple even spent their honeymoon in 1947 at Birkhall hunting lodge, located on the estate, which is now owned by Prince Charles.
Princess Eugenie said in 2016: “I think Granny is most happy [at Balmoral]. I think she really, really loves the Highlands.”
During Louise’s time at Balmoral last summer, she also impressed everyone by helping look after her nieces and nephews.
The royal insider told The Sun: “Louise also endeared herself to everyone by looking after William and Kate’s children when they were up there.
The Queen, Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Lady Louise Windsor (Image: GETTY)
“Louise loves drawing and sketching and was very patiently trying to get Charlotte to do pictures of rabbits and deer.”
Louise’s knack for drawing also brought her closer to the Queen, who decided to give her granddaughter a treat and share something very special with her.
The insider continued: “Because of her obvious artistic skill, the Queen allowed Louise to look through some of the collection of Queen Victoria’s Highlands sketches, which are kept at Balmoral but are rarely dug out these days.”
The pair likely bonded over the beautiful work of the Queen’s great-great-great-great grandmother.
Louise riding in Windsor with her father Prince Edward (Image: GETTY)
Louise also shares a love of horses with the Queen and the pair apparently went on several gentle rides in the hills around Balmoral last year, sometimes accompanied by Sophie.
The Queen’s granddaughter learned to ride when she was young and even joined her father Edward on horseback as part of the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations in Windsor in 2016.
She also has an unlikely connection to her grandfather Prince Philip in that they both enjoy the sport of carriage-driving.
Louise has taken up the sport, which was actually popularised in the UK by the Duke of Edinburgh himself.
In May 2017, she was responsible for leading the carriages of the Champagne Laurent-Perrier Meet of the British Driving School at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
Sadly, the horse show had to be cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, James has thrown himself into a different outdoor pursuit favourite by the royals: fly-fishing.
He is said to have “delighted” the Queen with his talents, as it reminded her of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, who was a dab hand at fly-fishing herself.
The royal insider said: “[James’] enthusiasm for fly-fishing delighted Her Majesty because it’s a sport beloved of James’ great-granny, the late Queen Mother.
“James was in the Dee as often as possible, waders up to his armpits.
“His mother Sophie, who was a keen fisherwoman herself, liked to stand with him.
“The Balmoral ghillies [gamekeepers] were impressed by both of them.”
Edward, however, apparently lacks the patience required for the pastime.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK