Queen’s ‘special drive’ with Carole Middleton around Balmoral lifted lid on royal secrets


QUEEN ELIZABETH II drove Kate Middleton’s mother Carole around Balmoral once, pointing out all the sites from the car and sharing secrets of the royal estate.

Her Majesty, 94, was pictured out walking near Balmoral Castle on Saturday, where she has gone to enjoy her summer holiday as usual with Prince Philip. The royal couple had previously been shielding at Windsor Castle since the coronavirus lockdown started in March. The Queen was dressed in a red top, gilet and tartan skirt while out for her walk at Glen Muick, and appeared to be accompanied by Prince Edward, 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 that Louise and James are her favourite grandchildren, in part because they “relish” their time at Balmoral with her.

It is understood that the monarch did not attend church on Sunday as she normally does in order to stop well-wishers gathering as the pandemic rumbles on.

However, in previous years, all sorts of royals and extended family have visited Balmoral while the Queen was there on her annual break, including Carole and Michael Middleton, who stayed as special guests of Her Majesty in 2016.

It was the first time they had stayed with the Queen herself, having normally stayed with Prince Charles at his Birkhall home on the estate.

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Queen Elizabeth II and Carole Middleton (left); Carole and Pippa Middleton getting into a car (Image: GETTY)

Balmoral Castle

Balmoral Castle (Image: GETTY)

The Middletons joined Kate, William, three-year-old George and one-year-old Charlotte in the Highlands for an outdoorsy summer break.

During the family holiday, the Queen was spotted playing chauffeur to Carole in her Range Rover, driving her back after a grouse shooting lunch.

Many interpreted the special drive as a sign of the close relationship between the in-laws.

Emily Nash, royal correspondent for Hello! Magazine, spoke about the relationship between the Middletons and the royals in the 2017 ITV documentary ‘Kate: The Making of a Modern Queen’.

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James, Viscount Severn, Prince Edward, Lady Louise Windsor and Sophie, Countess of Wessex (Image: GETTY)

She explained how the Queen’s drive with Carole showed they were “comfortable” with each other.

She said: “I don’t think there’ll be any need for [Kate] to distance herself from her family.

“They’re obviously very important to both William and Kate, and they’ve really been accepted into the royal fold, if you like.

“We’ve seen the Queen driving Carole Middleton around at Balmoral pointing out the sites to her.

carole middleton michael middleton

Carole and Michael Middleton (Image: GETTY)

“They’re obviously very comfortable in each other’s company.

“The family have also enjoyed lunches at Sandringham and they’ve stayed at Prince Charles’ Birkhall home.

“They’re very much welcomed into the fold and I don’t see any reason why that would change in future.”

During that same holiday, the Queen was also spotted driving the Duchess of Cambridge herself to a picnic.

According to Good Housekeeping, the Queen is the only person in the UK who can drive without a license.

This is because all licenses are issued in the Queen’s name, so she doesn’t have to give one to herself, and she is the only person who can legally drive without a registration plate on her car.

The Queen has never taken a driving test, but she is a dab hand at driving: she drove a military truck during World War 2 and has driven world leaders including Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.

Ironically, women were not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia at the time.

However, driving around private property never requires a license ‒ this is only for the use of public roads.