The royal family and Scotland, a special relationship

File image of Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth walking in the grounds of Balmoral Castle, Scotland, in October 2021 afp_tickers

This content was published on 12 September 2022 – 08:02


Queen Elizabeth had a special affection for Scotland, while for her son Charles, now king, this territory will always be linked to a decisive moment for him and for the United Kingdom.

It was in Scotland, at Balmoral Castle, where the queen died on Thursday at the age of 96, sealing the ascent of Charles III to the throne.

In his first speech as monarch, Charles stressed on Friday that his son William, now heir to the throne, will also inherit the Scottish titles that “have meant so much” to him.

In first place is the Duke of Rothesay, a title carried by the heir to the British monarchy and now belongs to William, 40, his eldest son.

Charles was the longest-serving bearer of the title, aged 70, the time of his mother’s reign, a record for the British monarchy.

Weeks ago, Prince Charles wore, as usual, a kilt at the Braemar Royal Highland Gathering, a gathering to celebrate Scottish heritage with events such as tug-of-war.

– “Colditz in skirt” –

At the age of 13, Carlos was sent to Gordonstoun, the austere Scottish boarding school where his father had been. Desperately alone, he hated the place, calling it “absolute hell” and “a prison sentence.”

He also referred to the site as “Colditz in kilt”, comparing the boarding school to the castle turned into a prison camp by the Nazis.

But in 1975, he recalled that those years at boarding school taught him to “accept challenges and take initiative.”

Carlos, a nature lover, has a private residence on the Balmoral grounds and has painted watercolors of Scottish landscapes.

He traveled those same landscapes to ski or hunt, always with a flask full of Bruichladdich or Laphroaig whisky, according to Whiskey Magazine.

In 1994, Prince Charles awarded Laphroaig Distillery the Royal Warrant, which allows it to put the royal coat of arms on its products.

Eager to preserve Scottish heritage, Charles stepped in to save Dumfries House, a former residence bought in 2007 by a consortium headed by the prince, who incorporated it into his foundation in 2018.

– Picnics in the Cairngorms –

Queen Elizabeth had Scottish ancestors because her parents had Robert II, King of Scotland in the fourteenth century as their common ancestor, and she also spent much of her childhood in Balmoral, her summer residence where she died.

“Scotland has played a very important role in our lives and the lives of my family over the years,” she said in 2012 during a visit to Perth.

The queen, who appeared all smiles in a newly released photo with her late husband Prince Philip in the Cairngorms where she enjoyed picnicking, visited Scotland for her Silver, Gold and Diamond Jubilees.

But it was also there in times of tragedy, such as with the plane explosion over Lockerbie that left 270 dead in 1988, or the Dunblane school shooting that killed 16 children and their teacher in 1996.

On her way to her annual visit to Balmoral, the queen was also taking part in a week of royal events at the official residence of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, where her coffin arrived on Sunday.

The royal family and Scotland, a special relationship