Andrew Milligan  /  Pool via AP
Charles and Camilla attend church at Crathie Parish in Scotland on Sunday.
updated 4/10/2005 5:10:57 PM ET 2005-04-10T21:10:57

Prince Charles’ honeymoon with Camilla Parker Bowles will be in a cozy Scottish hunting lodge that previously belonged to his grandmother.

The trip may lack the glitz of Charles’ honeymoon cruise around the Mediterranean with Princess Diana. But, like the less glamorous Parker Bowles, it appears better suited to his tastes.

While at Birkhall mansion in the Scottish highlands, the newlyweds will be able to engage in their shared love of country pursuits such as fishing, long walks and wearing lots of tweed.

Charles has described the early 18th-century home on the royal Balmoral estate as “a unique haven of cosiness and character.” He is reportedly to fish in the River Muick, which flows at the bottom of Birkhall’s sloping garden.

“One of the reasons I think Charles and Camilla like it here is because it is normally quiet and they can get on with their lives,” local butcher Barry Florence said Friday.

Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert bought Birkhall in the 19th century and it became the Balmoral residence of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who died in 2002, leaving it to Charles.

The prince’s mother, now Queen Elizabeth II, spent some of her honeymoon there after her marriage to Prince Phillip.

The small, whitewashed mansion sits in a wooded estate and lies some 12 miles from the imposing Balmoral Castle, where the queen spends her summer holidays.

Not to Diana's tastes
Diana passed some of her honeymoon on the estate, after she and Charles toured the Mediterranean aboard a lavish royal yacht. But, unlike Parker Bowles, the late princess never developed a passion for the Scottish countryside.

Charles, however, often retreated to Birkhall to escape media scrutiny during the breakdown of his first marriage. In recent years, he and Parker Bowles have spent much of the spring season there.

They are expected to stay for around a week at Birkhall, but will interrupt their honeymoon to carry out their first official engagement as a married couple by opening a nearby children’s playground.

“It is wonderful that they will be carrying out their first official engagement as a married couple in Ballater,” said pharmacist Derek Mutch. “It feels like a thank you to the village for the way we have treated and accepted them over the years.”

On Sunday, the couple emerged from the estate to attend a small church service with about 200 villagers.

Charles drove a silver Audi to the Crathie Parish Church and the couple waved to dozens of well-wishers as they parked at the side of the chapel and entered. Locals waved and snapped pictures.

Image: Birkhall
AP file
Birkhall on the royal Balmoral Estate in Scotland, where Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles will spend their honeymoon.
Prince Charles wore a tartan kilt. His bride wore a matching fuchsia hat and coat.

“I think she’s lovely,” said Lynn Hutchings, 56, a nurse visiting her sister in the Scottish highlands. “I didn’t think he should marry her but I’ve changed my opinion.”

Robbie Middleton, a lay preacher, delivered Sunday’s sermon, which focused on tuning into one’s spirituality. Middleton offered the couple a special blessing afterward, saying: “I wish them every happiness and a fulfilled life together.”

The couple greeted villagers after the sermon, and the duchess shook hands with people before the couple returned to the Balmoral estate.

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