Image: AP

Here’s a question: Balmoral, quiet misty haven or so freaking boring you’d run screaming onto the nearest heather-spotted moor? Well, if anybody has a direct line to Meghan Markle, you should ask her in the coming weeks, because she’s off for a visit.

The website of the Daily Express reported that Queen Elizabeth is off to Balmoral for her annual Scottish summer retreat, and you better believe they’ve found the dramatic angle: “Meghan Markle to undertake ‘Balmoral TEST’ with visit to Scottish estate.” The dek continued, sounding increasingly like a description of some occult ritual: “MEGHAN Markle is set to undertake the Balmoral ‘test’ as part of her Royal initiation, with an expected visit to the Queen’s Scottish estate, marking the couple’s first visit to the country retreat since the Royal Wedding in May.” Dun-dun-DUNNNN!

The article goes on in this same vein:

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams said: “An invitation to Balmoral, where the Queen is expected to remain until September, is traditionally part of the initiation into the Royal family.”

The first Balmoral initiation of a non-Royal spouse was conducted by Princess Diana, who reportedly was less fond of the country retreat than her Royal counterparts.

Mr Fitzwilliams said: “The Balmoral ‘test’ was initially passed by Diana who was later unhappy and bored there.”

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My answer is that Balmoral would be very exciting indeed, as long as you could get into the attic and/or long-term storage filled with all Queen Victoria’s most intimate junk. Nightgowns, down-market novels, medieval costumes for Victorian chivalric cosplay, etc., etc.

Wonder if there’s pasta?