She may be 90, but the Queen proved yesterday that she still takes the controls when it comes to family gatherings at her beloved Scottish estate.
The monarch played chauffeur to her granddaughter-in-law Kate – relegating their security guards to the back seat.
Dressed in a casual sleeveless jacket, she drove the Duchess of Cambridge – or the Countess of Strathearn as she is known north of the border – to a picnic lunch with Prince William in the hills above Loch Muick on the Balmoral estate.
Our remarkable picture illustrates just how close the pair have become in recent years – and how much they enjoy each other’s company.
A smiling Kate looked happy and relaxed as she sat in the front passenger seat of the dark green Range Rover in a khaki coat and patterned scarf.
William and Kate, who arrived in Royal Deeside on Thursday, have been staying at Prince Charles’s private Birkhall residence with their children, Prince George, three, and one-year-old Princess Charlotte.
William, 34, was also spotted driving a converted Land Rover Defender up the Capel Mounth path on the way to Glen Clova for a grouse shoot shortly after 10am yesterday.
At the butts behind imposing Creag Bhiorach, dozens of soldiers were waiting to do the beating and drive the grouse towards the waiting guns.
An hour later, the hills rang with the sound of gunfire. At lunch time, Her Majesty and the Duchess of Cambridge, 34, arrived, closely followed by more Special Branch officers.
Walkers on the public path at Loch Muick were delighted to see the Queen, who appeared not to be wearing a seatbelt, driving Kate – who had her belt on – to the grouse moors.
The family holiday in Scotland will end this week. Prince William has engagements on Wednesday and Friday, before jetting off to Canada for an official Royal tour with his wife and children from September 24 until October 1.