IT was the one place in the whole world she felt most at home.
Balmoral Castle where the Queen died yesterday was where for three months every summer she could “kick off her shoes” and relax.
This 50,000-acre estate beside the River Dee in the Scottish Highlands is where she could be a mum, and a wife — a world away from life as the most famous woman on the planet.
Since the days of Queen Victoria, British royals found peace there.
She arrived at Balmoral for the last time on July 23, her second summer without Prince Philip.
It is fitting that she found her final peace here surrounded by her family.
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On a tour in India, I once asked the Queen: “Why do you always go to Balmoral? Wouldn’t you like to go somewhere else?”
The Queen replied: “Where else could I go?” I politely said: “You’re the Queen, you can go anywhere in the world.”
She smiled at me and said: “But I quite like it there.”
Balmoral was also the scene of many momentous moments in her long life.
It is where the love of her life Prince Philip secretly proposed to Princess Elizabeth. After they married, Balmoral became the couple’s private retreat where their family could join them.
For more than 40 years I went to Balmoral to photograph the Queen there and I will never forget seeing her walking happily along the banks of the River Dee with her corgis yapping at her heels.
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