A former royal chaplain shared her memories of looking at the Queen’s family holiday photos on a visit to Balmoral.
The very Reverend Dr Lorna Hood was moderator of the general assembly of the Church of Scotland between 2013-14.
On a visit to Balmoral, Dr Hood recalled a younger member of the extended family’s disappointment his sword was “just pretend” after attending a ceremonial event.
Dr Hood said that the Queen “immediately stopped eating” and “feigned surprise”.
The Queen said: “But how will you protect me?”
Dr Hood added: “He hadn’t thought of that and for a few seconds was quite concerned then burst out laughing with the Queen and the rest of the table.”
The minister, who retired in 2016 after serving Renfrew North Parish Church for 37 years, said she witnessed a “close-knit” family unit, adding: “What I did witness on that occasion was a close-knit family unit, all very relaxed in her presence.
“Yes, there were the formal bows and courtesies but after that a genuine closeness and it was a pleasure to witness it.
“That visit was after a recent trip the royal family had taken to the Western Isles.
“After dinner she sat down with the photo album showing the other family members who were present the photos from the trip.
“Unsure what to do, I thought I would just chat to the Lady in Waiting, but the Queen beckoned me to sit beside her, and she shared her holiday snaps with me. What a privilege.”
Dr Hood then recalled a time she was taken on a drive with the Queen in the driving seat.
She said: “It was well known that very often one of the evenings would be spent on the estate at one of the cottages for a BBQ, cooked by Prince Philip and you were driven by the Queen.
“It’s a dark winding road and the Queen doesn’t saunter.
“On my second visit she had just taken possession of a new car and was most concerned with the new electronics, especially the sat nav.
“As she attempted to switch it off while keeping an eye on the road, I asked if I could help, to which the Queen replied: ’Yes, I think you’d better – we don’t want to have the Moderator in a ditch’.”