Queen takes four-day mini-break to Scotland to rest up before Platinum Jubilee

The Queen has taken a four-day mini-break to Scotland in order to rest up before the Platinum Jubilee celebrations next week.

Her Majesty has holed up at Craigowan Lodge on her Balmoral estate in order to ensure she is fully fit for what is expected to be a busy week ahead.

The Monarch is very keen on spending more time at her Scottish home – described as her "favourite home" – which is why she installed a £20,000 wheelchair lift and a security ring of steel around the lodge, in order to make her time there easier.

A new security gate, a state-of-the-art intercom system and a string of CCTV cameras are also due to be installed at Craigowan Lodge.

The “wheelchair-friendly” Lifton Trio lift is the largest in its range.

The 96-year-old often travels to Balmoral at this time of year and usually stays for around a week.

A source close to the Queen said she wants to take more short breaks to Balmoral and Sandringham when possible.

They said: "It dawned on her last year that she can take these mini-breaks and she thoroughly enjoys them."

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Her trip on this occasion is understood to be a means of pacing herself ahead of the Jubilee weekend, following a hectic schedule in recent weeks.

Harper's Bazaar royal-editor-at-large Omid Scobie tweeted: "A royal source confirms that the Queen travelled to Balmoral yesterday for a short break.

"It's a trip HMTQ often makes at this time of year (usually for around a week). Consider it a little break before all the Jubilee action!"

That included the opening of the Elizabeth Lin in London, watching the Royal Windsor Horse Show and attending the Chelsea Flower Show.

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Her Majesty is still suffering "episodic mobility problems" and it is thought unlikely that she will carry out the full ceremonial role at Trooping the Colour on Thursday (June 2).

It is believed she will follow the procession from a vehicle or carriage and will not receive the official salute for the first time in 70 years.

But aides hope she will appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony shortly afterwards for a RAF flypast.

She is then expected with the entire family at a service in St Paul's Cathedral in her honour on Friday (June 3).

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