Queen loved Balmoral and made her choice to end her days there, expert claims

The Queen “knew” she would never come back from Balmoral and wanted to die there, a royal expert has said.

Katie Nicholl, royal correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine, says that the late Queen knew the end was coming, and had decided she wanted to spend her last days in the Aberdeen estate that she loved.

Speaking to the BBC’s Huw Edwards, Katie said Her Majesty 'knew she wasn't going to come back [to Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace], I think she wanted to be in Balmoral and she wanted to pass there".

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She added that at Balmoral, Her Majesty felt she could be could be just a “mother, grandmother and great-grandmother” and had chosen to to end her days in a place where she could “leave her crown at the gates”.

Mr Edwards, who emotionally broke the news of Her Majesty’s death on BBC News last week, said the Queen’s journey to Balmoral spoke volumes really about the fact that she was very comfortable to be in Balmoral… somewhere where she was happy to be with lots of good memories.

Katie said that the Queen had undertaken that final journey because she was, among her other many titles, “she was the Queen of Scots” and she “wanted this to be part of her homecoming, her ultimate homecoming”.

“I actually think there's a bit of her that knew she wasn't going to come back. I think she wanted to be in Balmoral and she wanted to pass there.

“And the fact that she did peacefully is actually a blessing in all of this."

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Balmoral held a great many happy memories for The Queen.

In the 2016 documentary, Our Queen at Ninety, Princess Eugenie said that Balmoral is “the most beautiful place on earth,” adding “I think [The Queen] is most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands."

She went on: “Walks, picnics, dogs – a lot of dogs, there's always dogs – and people coming in and out all the time. It's a lovely base for Granny and Grandpa, for us to come and see them up there, where you just have room to breathe and run."

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Princess Anne has said much the same thing, telling the BBC’s A Tribute To Her Majesty The Queen that Balmoral offered all the things that the Queen most valued – "the countryside, the dogs, the horses and just being out and about and being able to get away a bit from that public gaze".

The original Balmoral estate was bought by Prince Albert the husband of Queen Victoria, in 1852.

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The original building was demolished and Prince Albert had a large hand in the design of Balmoral castle.

The grounds have been added to over the years, but Balmoral remains a working estate, including grouse moors, forestry and farmland, as well as managed herds of deer, Highland cattle, sheep and ponies.


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