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Castle of Mey
The remote Castle of Mey was rebuilt

Elizabeth and her brother David
Elizabeth with her brother David at Glamis


The Scottish Queen

Some called her the Scottish Queen even though she was, in fact, born in England. Certainly, she always regarded herself as a Scot.

Her parents became Lord and Lady Glamis and subsequently inherited Glamis Castle n Scotland when Elizabeth was very young. So as a child she and her brother David spent each summer there. The castle is said to have inspired the setting for Shakespeare's Macbeth.

It was there she learned to enjoy the outdoor pursuits of gardening, walking, fishing and farming which remained among her favourite pastimes throughout her life.

She was a enthusiastic walker and as an adult would often engage passers-by with talk about cattle breeding and the best place to catch salmon.

When she was Queen she would stay for lengthy periods at the royal estate at Balmoral, and as Queen Mother she still kept her own accommodation there.

On the death of her husband, King George VI, in 1952, she returned to Scotland to spend some time on her own. Not to Balmoral, but to a small castle on the very northern tip of the country on the Caithness coast. It was to become her favourite home.

Favourite home

The castle had been due to be demolished but Elizabeth spent 12 years restoring it. She restored its ancient name too: the Castle of Mey. It was secluded from the public, yet gave her access to all her outdoor pursuits.

The Queen Mother was said to be at her most accessible to the public on Royal Deeside, a favourite fishing haunt, and at the Highland Games at Braemar.

But she also carried out many public duties beyond the salmon river and the cattle auction. She often launched ships, including the liner The Queen Elizabeth, from the shipyards of the Clyde.

For many Scots, the Queen Mother represented continuity within the Royal Family. She returned to Scotland throughout her life and was regarded as the first real Scottish Queen for more than 300 years.

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