Prince Charles arrives in Balmoral for the traditional Sunday service without the Queen

Prince Charles cut a lonely figure this morning when he was spotted attending a traditional Sunday service in Balmoral without the Queen staying home.

Her Majesty, who has been in the Scottish Highlands on her summer break since July, was not among the congregation for the weekly service at Crathie Kirk today.

The monarch, who was a regular at the small church during her stay at the royal estate last year, has not been seen in public since her trip to her summer residence in July.

In recent weeks, various members of the royal family have been spotted making the short walk to the small church during their stay at the royal estate.

These include Prince Edward, Lady Louise Windsor and Vice Admiral Sir Time Laurence, with Prince Charles spotted alone at the service today.

However, the monarch, who has been a regular visitor in the past, has not been pictured attending services at the venue since her trip to her summer residence in July.

In recent months, the 96-year-old has canceled several appointments out of concern for her mobility and health.

These include the new Prime Minister swearing in at Scottish Castle this week in a break from tradition after deciding not to return to London for the ceremony.

Prince Charles was pictured leaving the traditional Sunday service at Crathie Kirk near Balmoral this morning

Prince Charles was pictured leaving the traditional Sunday service at Crathie Kirk near Balmoral this morning

The Queen has attended the service in the past but has not been photographed since arriving at the royal estate on July 21 (pictured).

The Queen has attended the service in the past but has not been photographed since arriving at the royal estate on July 21 (pictured).

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In recent years, Her Majesty has been an enthusiastic visitor to the little church. Here she is pictured arriving at the church with Lady Louise Windsor in 2019

In recent years, Her Majesty has been an enthusiastic visitor to the little church. Here she is pictured arriving at the church with Lady Louise Windsor in 2019

Charles has stepped into her role in Her Majesty’s absence – last week he attended the Braemer Gathering in her place and raised more concerns about her health.

But insiders say she stayed away to ensure she is in the best of health to welcome her 15th Prime Minister to Balmoral on Tuesday.

It will be the first time the Queen has welcomed a new Prime Minister there – but the arrangement is ‘BP [Buckingham Palace] coming to Balmoral,’ said an insider.

Despite mobility issues, the Queen is said to insist Prince Charles will not attend the ceremony. It did mean, however, that Her Majesty thought it wiser to rest yesterday.

On Tuesday, Boris Johnson – who is stepping down after three years at No. 10 – will travel to meet the Queen first. The monarch will then hold a private audience with the new Prime Minister in Balmoral’s drawing room. An image, but no video footage, will be posted.

And the next day, a “virtual” Privy Council meeting is scheduled to take place via video call. The new setting for the “Kiss Hands” meeting was decided to save the 96-year-old monarch the 1,000-mile round trip to Buckingham Palace.

While the Queen was resting, Charles, known in Scotland as the Duke of Rothesay, represented his mother at the Highland Games.

At Friday’s Braemar Gathering, the Prince of Wales used secateurs to cut a heather rope to unveil a new £80,000 archway to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.

Charles and Camilla applauded as host Robert Lovie said: “We miss her presence.”

Peter Fraser, President of the Braemar Royal Highland Society, said: “We were saddened but understood that the Queen could not come having been a worthy patron all these 70 years.”

Her Majesty’s absence comes as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex return to the UK amid a fresh flurry of taunts at the royal family.

Concerns have been raised about the Queen's health after she failed to attend her beloved Braemar meeting yesterday, with Prince Charles representing her

Concerns have been raised about the Queen’s health after she failed to attend her beloved Braemar meeting yesterday, with Prince Charles representing her

Sources claimed that the Queen (pictured in June), who is now 96 and has withdrawn from a number of public events in recent months amid ongoing fears for her health,

Sources claimed that the Queen (pictured in June), who is now 96 and has withdrawn from a number of public events in recent months amid ongoing fears for her health, “doesn’t want to get into tension” and is constantly on the “next nuclear bomb

Tensions were further exacerbated last week after an interview in which Meghan suggested the Sussexes had been forced to move across the Atlantic because “by our existence we disrupt the dynamics of the hierarchy”.

Speaking to US magazine The Cut, she also claimed her husband “lost his father,” with sources close to the couple saying this was not a reference to Prince Charles but rather her estrangement from her own father.

Royal insiders have branded the interview, in which Meghan also compared herself to Nelson Mandela, as “delusional” and raised concerns about the impact of her comments on the Queen.

One said the Queen didn’t want to be “suspenseful” and constantly waiting for the “next nuclear bomb”.

A friend of Charles said he was hurt by the couple’s continued “painful” comments.

Sources say the 73-year-old “loves and misses” Harry, Meghan and his grandsons Archie and Lilibet and feels particularly hurt after spending time with them during the platinum anniversary celebrations in June.

The Duchess of Sussex gave a bombastic interview to The Cut - part of New York magazine

The Duchess of Sussex gave a bombastic interview to The Cut – part of New York magazine

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with Archie and Lilibet in a Christmas card published on December 23, 2021

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with Archie and Lilibet in a Christmas card published on December 23, 2021

Charles is believed to have seen their time together as a “small act of redemption” after Sussex’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, in which Harry said he felt “really let down” by his father.

Coinciding with the launch of her new Spotify podcast, the Duchess of Sussex has claimed she has been compared to South African hero Nelson Mandela and claimed that Harry “lost” his father Charles during the Megxit.

In her wide-ranging 6,000-word interview with The Cut, Meghan said that “just by their existence” she and Harry would “disrupt the dynamics of the hierarchy” before stepping down as senior working royals.

She also said it takes “a lot of effort” to forgive and hinted she can “say anything” after failing to sign non-disclosure agreements with the royals.

Royal sources have since hit back at the couple, branding their tirades against life as working royals as “delusional” and “tragic” – and sensationally suggesting they “slam the system as much as they still do.” , even after the Megxit, to maintain public and therefore commercial interest in their “brand”.

The couple’s actions also appear to contradict the public statement they released in January 2020 after they reached a deal with the Queen to step out of royal life, in which they promised that “everything they do will continue the will uphold Her Majesty’s values”.

At the so-called ‘Sandringham Summit’, Harry gave up his military appointments and their public funding was halted, allowing them to go to the United States, where they have signed multi-million pound deals with companies such as Spotify and Netflix.

Separately, the Queen has repeatedly said the Sussexes remain “much loved” by the Royal Family.

But a source told the Sunday Times: “It’s hard to see how what they’re doing would be in line with the values ​​of the Queen, who has never encouraged people to discuss deeply personal family relationships in public.”

Their communications staff declined to comment when Mail Online asked about the palace insiders’ remarks. A spokesman for the Sussexes did not immediately respond to a query.

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Andrew Kugle

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