Queen Elizabeth and Scotland: How she loved Balmoral

It is fitting that Queen Elizabeth died at Balmoral Castle of all places. It is the place that made her the happiest, steeped in its history. Just like Scotland itself.

Queen Elizabeth yesterday left her beloved castle in the Scottish Highlands for the last time. Tomorrow you will leave Scotland for good. end of an era. Because the ties between Her Majesty and Scotland have always been deeper than they are.

The article continues after the announcement

Scotland as a counterweight

Balmoral Castle has been in the royal family’s possession for centuries, but Princess Elizabeth and her parents’ ties to the land run deeper than those of her ancestors. her mother, queen momBorn and raised in Scotland. So it is not surprising that after he became king, she and her husband Albert chose to spend the summer in Scotland.

Elizabeth grew up with a long summer in Balmoral and with her grandmother and grandfather at her mother’s side at Glamis Castle. When she was ten years old, her father became king and Elizabeth became the heir to the throne in one fell swoop. Unexpectedly, because her uncle was supposed to be king, but he gave up the throne for love. Suddenly Elizabeth and her sister Margaret were thrown into the spotlight much more. Scotland was a good balance to that: a place where they could be kids for a while. And where her children can one day, too.

Everyone has a story

This feeling has always been there, although it didn’t take Elizabeth long to take on her royal duties. She gave her first public speech in 1944 in Aberdeen, Scotland. A good start, because she felt comfortable with the Scots.

And the Scots with it, anyone who set foot on Scottish soil for a long time knows this. Across the country, but certainly in the highlands and near Cairngorms (the national park where Balmoral is located), everyone seems to have their own story about meeting Elizabeth. or her children. Or Prince Philip. They are all part of the furniture there in the highlands.

at her happiest

And this is how Elizabeth herself has always felt. “It’s the place where Grandma is happy,” Princess Eugenie said in a TV documentary about Balmoral six years ago. “She likes heights a lot.” We go for walks there, have a picnic, there are always all kinds of dogs around and everyone gathers there. It’s a nice place to visit grandma and grandma, where we can all breathe and run. “

Elizabeth herself was happy to do so on the many acres surrounding the castle and 150 outbuildings on the Balmoral Estate. She was often seen on horseback, regularly cruising and cruising through villages in the famous Range Rover, always with this scarf around her head. Philip liked to stand behind the barbecue if the weather allowed.

Wash the dishes yourself

They were normal there, as Tony Blair once saw it with his own eyes. “People always think this is a joke, but I swear it’s true. After dinner, the Queen and Philip put on gloves and washed the dishes themselves.”

Sir Malcolm Ross, the former leader of the Royal Family of Scotland, once confirmed this to the BBC. “The weather wasn’t always perfect, but the place had the atmosphere and the feel. The open space, no distractions, no planes, noise or traffic. They could be free. The Queen could relax with her dogs and do what normal people did.”

I got engaged to Philip

But the relationship with Balmoral and Scotland went deeper than just a desire for privacy and a normal life. So the Queen gave her first speech there. He’s been at the Braemar pool every year for 69 years (below in 2012), a sort of Highland game. She only missed last summer’s edition due to her health.

She spent the summer there every year. It was also Balmoral where she was engaged to Prince Philip.

There were also sad moments. Basically: Elizabeth and Philip were at Balmoral with William and Harry in August 1997 when their mother, Diana, died in Paris. For days, the prince, queen and young princes sought comfort from each other before reappearing in London.

happy memories

Last week, two days before her death, the Queen greeted Boris Johnson farewell, and new Prime Minister Liz Truss at the castle. Travel became very difficult, and she wanted to stay in Scotland.

Only last year, after Prince Philip passed away, she spoke of her great love for Scotland and the Scots. She rarely did, but her words are now even more special. “I have a deep and lasting love for this amazing country. Philip and I have so many happy memories of it. Here’s what people often say about places: People make them. There is no healthier place like this in Scotland.”

Photo: Getty Images / Royal House / ANP

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