Factbox: Queen Elizabeth’s close ties to Scotland

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A child places flowers in tribute near a monument, following the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, in Ballater, near Balmoral, Scotland, Britain September 10, 2022. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

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LONDON, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Queen Elizabeth’s oak coffin began its journey from Balmoral Castle, her summer retreat in the Scottish Highlands, to Edinburgh on Sunday, with thousands of Scots expected in the streets to pay homage to him. Read more

Elizabeth, who died aged 96 on Thursday, spoke last year of her “deep and abiding affection” for Scotland and recalled the “many happy memories” she and her late husband Prince Philip , shared in the country.

Here are some of his connections to Scotland:

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EARLY LIFE

The Queen’s mother, also called Elizabeth, was from a Scottish family who lived at Glamis Castle in Angus. As a young princess, Elizabeth spent most of her summers in Scotland either with her parents at Balmoral Castle or with her maternal grandparents at Glamis.

While still a teenager, she gave her first public address in Aberdeen in 1944, when she opened a home for the British Sailors’ Society.

P.O. BOXES

At the start of Elizabeth’s reign in 1952, there were objections in Scotland to her being called Elizabeth II because the Tudor Queen Elizabeth I was never Queen of Scotland.

A post office column box in Edinburgh bearing the cipher ERII was defaced and then blown up.

BALMORAL

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert purchased Balmoral Castle in 1852. Since then, the castle has been a base for the Royal Family’s summer vacations.

After coming to the throne, Elizabeth continued the royal family’s tradition of holidaying at Balmoral in the heart of the Scottish Highlands each summer.

Photographs over the decades have shown the Queen relaxing away from the glitz and pageantry of London, occasionally taking walks in the hills or having picnics with her family. Elizabeth’s granddaughter Eugenie said in a 2016 TV documentary: “Granny is the happiest there.”

The Queen has attended the Braemar Gathering, a celebration of traditional Scottish games, sports and dancing, every year since she took the throne 70 years ago – except for the games at the beginning of the month that ‘she missed out due to failing health.

“She was really a part of life in this part of the world. Locals all say they met her or saw her at the Highland Games,” said Andrew Bowie, the Conservative MP for West Aberdeenshire, which includes Balmoral. . “She was hugely well-liked and respected. People felt a huge affinity with her.”

INDEPENDENCE SCOTLAND

Although the British monarch is supposed to be politically neutral, the Queen hinted at her views on the constitutional future of the country she reigned over.

In 1977, ahead of a vote on creating an assembly in Edinburgh and as she celebrated her Silver Jubilee, the monarch gave a speech highlighting how she had been crowned Queen of the Four Nations.

“Perhaps this jubilee is the time to remind ourselves of the benefits that the Union has conferred,” she said.

Just before a vote on Scottish independence in 2014, she was heard expressing her wish that people “think very carefully about the future”.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron was later heard Elizabeth ‘purred’ with happiness when he phoned her to inform her that Scotland had voted against independence.

THE PARLIAMENT OF SCOTLAND

Elizabeth officially opened the 129-member Scottish Parliament in 1999, which gave Scotland the power to raise taxes and pass laws, and opened its new building in 2004.

Despite defending Scottish independence, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said after the Queen’s death that Scotland “loved her, respected her and admired her”.

The Queen’s admiration for Scotland was summed up in a speech to the Scottish Parliament last year.

“I have spoken before of my deep and abiding affection for this wonderful country,” she said. “It’s the people who make a place and there are few places where that’s truer than Scotland.”

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Reporting by Andrew MacAskill Editing by Frances Kerry

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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