The Queen has made her traditional appearance at the Braemar Highland Games.

She was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales at the gathering in Aberdeenshire, where the royal party watched pipe bands and dancers perform to a large crowd.

The event is held each year a short distance from the royals' summer retreat on the Balmoral estate.

The Queen is patron of the Games and joined thousands of spectators in good weather to cheer on participants in the tossing of the caber and tug-of-war contests.

The Queen wore a cream coat and matching hat and, as she took her seat in the royal pavilion, placed a tartan rug over her lap.

Prince Philip and Prince Charles, who were both wearing kilts, also sat in the pavilion to watch the action.

Held at the Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park, the Games take place on the first Saturday of every September and attract visitors from around the world.

Queen Victoria first attended the Braemar Gathering in 1848. Since then it has been regularly visited by the reigning monarch and other members of the Royal Family.

Traditionally, the royals attend a church service at nearby Crathie Kirk the day after the Games.

The Queen took up residence at Balmoral Castle at the beginning of August after attending the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and is expected to stay until October before returning to London.