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nce again the summer months have been exceptionally busy for the royal family – the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in particular. In the space of one week they went from London to Northern Ireland and back again, to the wedding of Alexandra Knatchbull in Hampshire and up to Scotland for Holyrood week.

   Their annual Balmoral sojourn will be more important than ever, as it is the only time they can really relax and the 90-year-old Queen can be in her favourite place.

   Encouraged by Prince Philip, 95, the monarch likes to keep up with technology and before she left London she sent her second-ever tweet to thank everyone for their birthday messages. ‘I am most grateful for the many digital messages of goodwill I have received and would like to thank you all for your kindness. Elizabeth R.’

   This September will be the last Balmoral visit for David Cameron and his wife Samantha after he tendered his resignation, having lost the ‘Remain’ vote in the EU referendum. He agreed to stay on as prime minister until the autumn to ‘steady the ship’, having discussed it first with the Queen at an early hour on the morning of 24 June.

   In the autumn she will have to get to know a new prime minister, the 13th of her reign. As this issue of Majesty goes to press, the new leader of the Conservative Party has yet to be decided, but one thing is sure: it is a woman the Queen will be meeting with every week.

   The 19th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales occurs on 31 August, and already her family is preparing for the milestone 20th.

   Speaking for himself and his brother, Prince Harry said recently: ‘We want to make sure that there’s something that she’s remembered by. There’s certainly not enough on the right scale in London, or anywhere in the UK.

   ‘Something needs to be put in stone or in place as a memory,’ he added. ‘Every single day we still think about her, so it would be very fitting on the 20th anniversary to have something that is going to last forever and is a proper recognition of what she did when she was alive.’

   Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, obviously agrees because he and his wife are planning ‘an unbelievably beautiful’ and ‘appropriate’ garden at Althorp, where his sister is buried. Landscapers have already planted rhododendrons and forget-me-nots on the island.

   ‘They were Diana’s favourite flower. I still remember giving her some when we were children,’ Spencer said. ‘When I was six, I gave her a white pot of blue forget-me-nots.’ 

   The island renovation will also include a physical memorial. ‘Before, we left the grave unmarked because the family knew where it was,’ the Earl explained. ‘But now we’re going to have a memorial to Diana.’ 

   The island will not be accessible to the public, but no doubt there will be an exhibition next year for visitors to remember the Princess.


 
 
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