Prime Minister John Key and his family arrived at Balmoral Castle early this morning for a weekend visit with the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.

Mr Key, his wife Bronagh and children Stephanie, 20, and Max, 18 were delivered to the castle from Aberdeen's Dyce airport by the green Royal Range Rovers.

Bronagh Key wore a navy blue outfit with white trim and a pleated skirt falling just below the knee, while daughter Stephanie, sporting bright red head, wore a yellow dress with bananas on it, a cropped jacket and black boots.

Rather than being met by the Queen, the Key family were met by the Queen's Equerry and lady-in-waiting and taken straight into the Castle.

They arrived soon after the Queen and her guests were seen arriving back to the estate from a grouse hunting outing in a flock of Range Rovers - the lead one of which the Queen herself was driving.

The family will have their first dinner at Balmoral tonight - but Mr Key did not know whether that would be a barbecue or a black tie dinner.


Before arriving at Balmoral, Mr Key said he was hoping to catch the America's Cup racing, but was not sure whether the Balmoral timetable would allow it.

"I'm certainly going to be kept up to date and if there's an opportunity to see it we'll have a look but exactly what time dinner starts I don't know.

"I guess it will depend a bit whether it's the barbecue or black tie dinner tonight."

Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and their new son Prince George have been staying at the estate this week and are believed to still be guests there.