It's been a tumultuous and historic week in the UK. Yesterday marked the funeral of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II, it was a chance for the country to show respect and gratitude for her service and dedication to the country and its Commonwealth.
(A sketch from last year on the passing of Prince Philip)
She has been a constant in all our lives and most of us have known no one else as our country's figurehead. From World War II to the recent pandemic, she was often a comforting and reassuring presence when all around was be uncertain. Although I am by no means a royalist I can respect and be in awe of her dedication to her role as monarch. I had the chance earlier this year to visit Scotland and a town called Ballater, located near the Cairngorms national park and with a deep connection to the monarchy.
Not far from Ballater is Balmoral Castle, the home of the royal family.
The Queen had many wonderful summers at the secluded Balmoral Castle, from her early years spent there with her grandparents King George V and Queen Mary through to the last few months of her life.
Since 1852 when Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria purchased Balmoral Estate from the Farquharson family, it has been a private residence of the monarch. The last castle was dismantled shortly after a new one was ordered, built and finished in 1856. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip loved the estate which covers 50,000 acres and offered an escape from the pressures and publicity of public life.
When at Balmoral you can tell it's different from the other royal palaces that you can visit. You can see this is where a family enjoyed their time together and made it home (albeit a massive one!). Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip stayed at Balmoral together during the lockdown and celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary there in November 2020 and it's where they celebrated their final years together.
May she rest in peace.
This week's sketch...