The King and Queen have marked the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s death with a poignant moment of prayers and reflection in the church where she worshipped.
Charles and Camilla travelled to Crathie Kirk to commemorate the life and service of the former monarch who reigned for 70 years before dying peacefully at her Balmoral home on September 8 last year.
Afterwards the King and his wife went on a walkabout and smiled and shared jokes with Balmoral Estate staff, members of the royal household and residents from the nearby town of Ballater, who treated the Queen as one their own.
The past 12 months were described by a royal expert as a “momentous” period for the head of state who fulfilled his role in leading the nation as he grieved for his mother.
The royal couple were joined at the church, close to Balmoral Castle in Scotland, by the late Queen’s niece and nephew, Lady Sarah Chatto and the Earl of Snowdon, who were close to their aunt, with Lady Sarah seeing the monarch often.
The earl was accompanied by his daughter Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, and Lady Sarah by her husband Daniel and children Samuel and Arthur.
The Rev Kenneth Mackenzie, minister of Crathie Kirk, who officiated at the event, said: “It was a simple reflective time, a time where we were able to give thanks for the life of the late Queen and recognise the poignancy of this day for that family and this community, as well as the nation and Commonwealth.
“I think that those of us that did get to see the Queen in different situations, but particularly up here, felt it today, were reminded of the loss.
“But we were also glad, just as the family were able to gather here last year, some members of the family were able to be here.
“And wherever they might be, in their own homes or wherever, I’m glad that people will have the opportunity to reflect and gives some thanks for the life of the Queen.”