Queen's family persuaded her to spend final days at Balmoral, despite monarch's fears dying there was 'more difficult'

22 December 2023, 11:48

Queen Elizabeth died last September
Queen Elizabeth died last September. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

The Queen's family persuaded her to spend her final days at Balmoral, despite her fears that dying at the remote Scottish residence would make funeral logistics difficult.

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Princess Anne, the late monarch's only daughter, said that the Queen thought it would be "more difficult" if she died at Balmoral.

The Queen is said to have loved her northern Scottish home and was there when her health began to deteriorate, before she died on September 8, 2022.

Princess Anne was with her mother in the days before she died, and has spoken out about the Queen's concerns. She said that the royal family urged her not to worry in her final days.

The Princess Royal said: “I think there was a moment when she felt that it would be more difficult if she died at Balmoral".

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Elizabeth in Balmoral in the days before her death
Elizabeth in Balmoral in the days before her death. Picture: Getty

Operation London Bridge, the code name for the official procedures after the death of the Queen, was much more complicated if she died in Scotland rather than London.

Her body had to be driven over 100 miles to Edinburgh for the Lying At Rest, followed by an RAF flight to London.

Speaking in a documentary to be aired over Christmas, Anne said: "We did try to persuade her that [location] shouldn’t be part of the decision-making process.

"So I hope she felt that was right in the end, because I think we did."

Anne, who was at Balmoral with the Queen, said: "In my case it was purely serendipity that I was there".

Princess Anne at the Queen's funeral with her brother King Charles
Princess Anne at the Queen's funeral with her brother King Charles. Picture: Getty

The Princess Royal spoke of her feelings when the Queen was finally buried, after days of ceremonies.

She said: "I rather weirdly felt a sense of relief: that’s it, finished. That responsibility being moved on."

The documentary, about her brother King Charles becoming the monarch, follows the months leading up to his coronation.

Anne said: "To be honest, I’m not sure that anybody can really prepare themselves for that kind of change.

"At least, not easily. And then the change happens, and you go, ‘Okay, I now have to get on with it'."

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