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Prince William makes surprise appearance in Balmoral with the Queen

The royal was pictured with his grandmother attending church on Sunday

Hanna Fillingham

Prince William delighted royal fans on Sunday after making a surprise appearance in Balmoral. The royal was pictured attending the weekly church service in the nearby town of Crathie Kirk with his grandmother, the Queen. The Duchess of Cambridge and their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis were thought to have stayed at home, although it is unsure whether they joined William on his trip to Scotland. Over the summer, the royal family has taken it in turns to go and visit the Queen and Prince Philip during their three-month stay in Balmoral. Prince Andrew was up there last week, and Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall - who joined William and the monarch at the Sunday service - have also been spending a lot of time there.

Prince William went to Balmoral on Sunday to see the Queen

The Cambridge family had gone to Balmoral during the final few days of the school summer holidays, timing their trip with Autumn and Peter Phillips, whose two daughters Savannah and Isla get on well with George and Charlotte. The family were praised after being pictured disembarking a budget airline for the trip. A passenger on the plane told MailOnline: "The family were sat right at the front. I fly this route all the time and we were non the wiser. No one knew they were on the flight. Later on I realised that Kate's mother was sat a few rows in front of me."

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The future King dressed up smartly for the Sunday church service

Balmoral is where the Queen and her family can truly relax and be themselves. Her granddaughter Princess Eugenie has declared that 'Granny' is most happy in the Highlands, saying: "Walks, picnics, dogs – a lot of dogs, there's always dogs – and people coming in and out all the time. It's a lovely base for Granny and Grandpa, for us to come and see them up there; where you just have room to breathe and run." Speaking on ITV's Our Queen At Ninety, she added: "It's the most beautiful place on earth. I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands."

READ: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pictured returning to London to collect baby Archie

Royal fans will get to see both William and Kate in just a few days as they will be undertaking their first joint royal engagement this autumn on Thursday. The royals will officially name the UK’s new polar research ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough. The couple will be joined by Sir David Attenborough, who will deliver a speech alongside William, while Kate will formally name the ship as a bottle of champagne is smashed against the hull.

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