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Picture of Queen and Philip released ahead of the funeral

The Queen has named her corgi puppy Muick after the area where the photograph was taken.

The Queen has shared one of her favourite pictures of herself with the Duke of Edinburgh on the eve of her husband’s funeral.

The royal couple are pictured as they are rarely seen – relaxing together away from public duties and enjoying the stunning scenery of the Scottish Highlands.

Looking completely at ease and smiling warmly at the photographer, Philip and the Queen relax on the grass at the Coyles of Muick, a beauty spot near the town of Ballater in Aberdeenshire.

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The Queen and Philip pictured at Balmoral in 1972

The duke lies back on a rug, propping himself up on his left elbow and has jauntily placed his hat on his right knee.

Beaming at the the Countess of Wessex – who took the picture in 2003 – the Queen, dressed in a tartan skirt, blouse and cardigan and a string of pearls, also sits on a rug.

With the sun blazing down the picture is likely taken when the couple were enjoying their traditional summer break at the Queen’s nearby private estate of Balmoral.

The image reflects the private face of the Queen and her husband and gives an insight into how the Queen will remember her husband of 73 years.

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The Lion rampant flies at half mast at Balmoral Castle

Coyles of Muick stands above the entrance to Glen Muick and rewards walkers with an uninterrupted view to the mountain of Lochnagar.

The area is clearly a favourite spot for the Queen as she has named a corgi puppy, recently given to the monarch, Muick and it has a dorgi puppy playmate called Fergus – another Scottish name.

The area has been painted by the Prince of Wales whose Scottish summer retreat of Birkhall is close to the area where the Queen and Philip were photographed.

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