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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 August 2006, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
Tribute to Queen Mother unveiled
A memorial plaque to the Queen Mother has been unveiled

A memorial to the late Queen Mother has been unveiled outside a church in the Highlands by the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay.

Charles and Camilla have been taking a summer break at the Castle of Mey in Caithness, the former holiday home of the Queen Mother.

The slate memorial is at the church in the small community of Canisbay, where the Queen Mother used to worship.

On Saturday, the duke and duchess attended the local Mey Games.

The oval plaque includes a touching inscription written by Charles, as well as a likeness of his grandmother's smiling face.

Placed here by HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, in loving memory of his grandmother, HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who kept such a special place in her heart for this parish and who worshipped in this kirk for almost 50 years until October 2001
Plaque inscription

The prince commissioned sculptor Adam Williamson to carve the personal tribute to her memory.

After attending a mid-day service at Canisbay with about 150 parishioners, the creation was officially unveiled to applause from spectators.

Charles, wearing a Rothesay tartan kilt, was next to his wife as they chatted to Mr Williamson.

Camilla was dressed in her favourite Roy Allen-designed claret coat, edged with the Rothesay colours, which she wore during her honeymoon last year at Balmoral.

'Marvellous' creation

London-based Mr Williamson, 24, spent 18 months etching the plaque from a block of Lake District Burlington slate.

The sculptor, who has completed other carvings for Charles, said: "He was very involved in the whole process, much more so than for my other projects.

"He had a very firm idea of what he wanted and you could tell it meant a great deal."

Castle of Mey
The Queen Mother was a regular visitor to the Castle of Mey

He added: "The prince said the plaque was marvellous."

The Castle of Mey, near John O' Groats, was one of the Queen Mother's favourite retreats.

She bought it after her husband's death in 1952 and restored it to its former glory.

She became a regular visitor to the area over several decades and retained ownership of the property until 1996.

It was then handed over to a charitable trust, along with its 2,000 acres and a herd of prize-winning Aberdeen Angus cattle, and has opened its doors for public tours.

The Queen Mother died in March 2002, at the age of 101.

Last month, the Royal Family officially opened a garden in her memory at Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Gardens.


SEE ALSO
Queen Mother tribute garden opens
07 Jul 06 |  Edinburgh and East
Queen Mother memorial fund plan
14 Nov 03 |  Scotland
Queen Mother is laid to rest
10 Apr 02 |  UK News
Scotland pays its tributes
01 Apr 02 |  Scotland

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