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Kirk Moderator describes a last weekend of lively fun at Balmoral

09 September 2022


Balmoral Castle

Balmoral Castle

THE late Queen had been the “life and soul of things” and “full of fun” during her final weekend in Balmoral, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rt Revd Dr Iain Greenshields, has said.

Dr Greenshields had been her guest at Balmoral, where he had dinner on Saturday and lunch on Sunday, after he had delivered a sermon at Braemar and Crathie Parish Church. The Prince of Wales — now the King — and the Princess Royal had also been present.

Recalling the weekend, he said: “It was a fantastic visit. Her memory was absolutely amazing and she was really full of fun. It came as a great shock to me when I heard she was gravely ill, because she was in amazingly good form over the weekend.”

He continued: “She was the life and soul of things. She was speaking very personally to me about her time there way back when she was a child; she was talking about her horses from the past, naming them from 40 years ago; people’s names and places. She was quite remarkable.”

The late Queen, who died just days later on Thursday evening, had been in good spirits during a “very lively conversation”, including about the Church of Scotland, Dr Greenshields said, “which she had a very fond affection for”.

“She asked about me, my ministry and my family, and came across as a happy person and was very gracious. It was a very engaging and thoroughly enjoyable experience.”

Paying tribute to the late Queen’s faith, service, and dedication throughout her 70 years on the throne, he said: “She has been the steady constant in the life of our nation for over seven decades and most of us will have grown up knowing only her as our monarch. Tireless in her duty, the Queen has demonstrated a life of selfless dedication. Her love for her family was mirrored in her love for our nation and the wider Commonwealth.”

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