Lockdown anniversary: Remembering those we’ve lost

Families pay tribute to people whose lives have been claimed by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Family members who have lost loved ones to coronavirus have been sharing more about the lives of the people they’ve lost.

Their personal stories come as the UK prepares to mark a National Day of Reflection.

Held on March 23, the anniversary of the UK’s first Covid lockdown, the nation will stand at midday for a minute of silence in remembrance of the lives lost and to show support to the millions of people who are bereaved. 

Led by end-of-life charity Marie Curie, people are also encouraged to light up their doorsteps tonight at 8pm as a “beacon of remembrance” in a nation-wide vigil. Landmarks across the UK will also be lit.

Marie Curie executive director, Meredith Niles, said: “Millions of us have been unable to say a proper goodbye or comfort our family, friends and colleagues in their grief. 

“With so many of us losing someone close, our shared sense of loss is incomparable to anything felt in our lifetime. We need to acknowledge this and recognise we are not alone.”

It has been just over a year since the first person in Scotland died with Covid-19.

Since then, the coronavirus pandemic has been linked to the deaths of more than 9000 people in Scotland.

Behind the statistics every death has been devastating for the people left behind.

Connie McCready, who lost her fiancé, Jim Russell, to the virus last May, founded Covid-19 Families, a support group for people who have lost loved ones to the pandemic.

She has been helping to coordinate the day of reflection in Scotland. 

“I knew that March was going to be tough as it’s full of lasts; last cuddles, last kisses, last conversations…and the first day Jim had symptoms,” said Ms McCready.

“It has hit me and so many families like an explosion and it’s only the beginning.

“Everyone is talking about life getting back to normal when coming out of lockdown, however, for myself and many others we are terrified as our lives will never be normal again. 

“I absolutely love and adore Jim and miss him desperately. He was my world. He is missed so much by all of us and he will never be forgotten.”

Jim Russell

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Jim Russell and his fiancee Connie.

Jim Russell was a lorry driver from Glasgow known as “Big Gorgeous” to his workmates as he kept himself and the trucks he drove absolutely pristine.

Jim’s trademark was giving nicknames to his nearest and dearest such as ‘Wantoe’, ‘Potato’ and ‘Casper’. A sun worshipper who loved going abroad, Jim also had a passion for car shows and truck festivals and he adored his dog, Honey.

Described as a true gentleman who “will never be forgotten,” Jim would do absolutely anything for anyone and was an amazing step-dad to Shannon and Rhiannon and fiancé to Connie who described Jim as “her world”.

He died aged 51 with Covid-19 on May 4, 2020, shortly before what would have been his wedding day.

John Connelly

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John Connelly

Known as Rangers Football Club’s oldest season ticket holder, John Connelly was a talented footballer himself but abandoned his dreams of playing to join the Royal Air Force during World War II.

He had a brief fling with stardom as one of the original Brylcreem boys, appearing in adverts for the popular hair cream.

Described as a devoted family man who loved to tell his grandchildren stories, his family say the 104-year-old great grandfather was and always will be “our legend”.

John died aged 104 with Covid 19 on April 23, 2020.

Marcus Brouwer

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Marcus Brouwer

Marcus Brouwer moved to Scotland with the love of his life, Caroline, from Canada two and half years ago.

He remained a massive fan of the Miami Dolphins and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Described as a “lovely man and a loving husband” by those who knew him, the fun loving father-of-two worked as a carer which his family say was very fitting as he would help anyone with anything.

Marcus died aged 52 with Covid 19 on March 25, 2020.

Tom Malcolmson

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Tom Malcolmson

Tom Malcolmson was a retired engineer with Scottish Water who was married to his wife, Jeanette, for 50 years.

His two daughters describe him as a “true gentleman” and say he loved walking his wee dog, Jake.

Tom died aged 70 with Covid-19 on November 12, 2020

Sandy McKay

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Sandy McKay

Sandy McKay was the “life and soul of the party” according to his family who loved being involved in his local community, even taking on the role of Santa at Christmas.

An intelligent man with a dry sense of humour, he loved researching his family history and would often go down to the Mitchell Library in Glasgow for hours at a time to see what he could discover.

Described as a “loving husband” and the best dad and grandad who was “absolutely adored” by his grandchildren, he liked to go away with his wife, Sylvia, in their caravan together and he enjoyed going to the theatre or movies and concerts with her.

A man who maintained lifelong friendships, he served in the merchant navy until he married as he didn’t want to leave his wife and children.

His family said he will be “missed so much”.

Sandy died aged 62 with Covid 19 on April 13, 2020.

Robert Weir Smith

Robert Weir Smith from East Kilbride was a retired driving instructor, bus driver, bricklayer, and general jack of all trades said his family.

His daughter, Pauline, described Robert as the fittest, happiest man she knew and “an amazing dad”.

Robert was a father-of-three, granddad to eight and great grandfather to four who doted on his wife of 60 years, Margot.

He died aged 83 with Covid 19 on November 27, 2020.

Donald Bagley

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Donald Bagley

Donald Bagley was a much loved coach driver from Blantyre and the first team driver for Kilmarnock Football Club who “always had a smile”.

He worked for the Parks of Hamilton group, driving coaches up and down the country for many years and his friends have said it was “an honour and a privilege” to know him.

Described as a “great man” who took pride in his work, he was especially , close to his wife, Eileen, and his nieces – one of whom is due to have her first baby.

Donald’s family said they know he would have wanted to play a large part in this child’s life.

He died aged 62 with Covid 19 on April 23, 2020.

James Yeats

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James Yeats

James Yeats from Whitburn was passionate about hill walking and had recently become a grandad to four granddaughters in the last two years.

His family say he had been looking forward to making memories with them.

Described as “fun and hardworking”, James loved punk music and went to as many gigs as he could, flying over to Belfast each year to see the rock band Stiff Little Fingers.

His family said he loved spending weekends down at their caravan at Berwick Upon Tweed

James died aged 58 with Covid 19 on April 8, 2020

Betty Steele

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Betty Steele

Mother-of-seven Betty Steele grew up in Paisley before moving to England to join her friends. Described as a lady with a strong zest for life, anything she did was done “with care and love for others”.

Known as ‘Betty Three Jobs’ because she was a hard worker, her son, James, said she would pluck turkeys, work behind the bar at the Grampian and the Labour Club and go potato picking.

Described as always having a smile on her face, Betty had ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Her granddaughter, Debbie, said she had the “biggest heart” and loved and lived for her family.

Betty died aged 87 with Covid 19 on May 10, 2020.

Pearl Paterson

Pearl Paterson

Pearl Paterson was brought up in Dennistoun in Glasgow during World War II and joined the Women’s Land Army as a teenager.

Her service to her country was officially recognised decades later by the government.

After the war she worked in hotels across Scotland before settling in Largs with her daughter, Fiona.

Pearl loved her little chihuahua called Flash and her family said she was very proud when her granddaughter, Nifemi, was born.

She died aged 91 with Covid 19 on April 26, 2020.

David Stuart Allan

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David Stuart Allan

David Stuart Allan has been described by his family as someone who made the world “a brighter place”.

Known as a kind, caring and thoughtful man, his wife Glenda said he “lived for his family”.

David joined a local running club in Edinburgh when he retired, after spending 40 years as a science technician at the city’s Trinity Academy.

He had a passion for travelling and had been planning a visit to Australia in March to see his nephew, who his family have said was the apple of David’s eye.

Tributes from those who worked with him confirmed what his family always knew, that he was kind, caring and dependable.

David died aged 64 with Covid 19 on April 24, 2020.

Colin Harris

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Colin Harris

Colin Harris trained as a jockey in his younger years but due to early onset Parkinson’s disease at age of 39, he then took on the role of house husband and he will be remembered for his love of hoovering and bringing a hot flask of tea wherever he went.

Colin’s passions were his family and his animals of which he had many, often rehoming pets who had been abused.

His family said he had a great sense of humour and “our life was full of laughter even in dark times”.

Colin died aged 66 with Covid 19 on May 6, 2020.

Marie Ward

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Marie Ward

Marie Ward was a grandmother well known for being outgoing and bringing a smile to everyone’s face.

Her granddaughter Abbey said she was “loved by everyone around her”.

Marie died aged 83 with Covid 19 on October 18, 2020.

Glyn Edwards

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Glyn Edwards

Glyn Edwards was a very proud Welshman, born in the small market town of Mold before he later moved to Scotland and made Leith his home.

He worked in the civil service, checking the registration of births, marriages and deaths. His daughter Mhairi Jarvie affectionately called him the Big Friendly Giant after the Roald Dahl character.

Glyn died aged 76 with Covid 19 on April 11, 2020.

Eileen Honeyman

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Eileen Honeyman

Eileen Honeyman has been described as “wonderful, funny and witty” by her family.

She was mother to six children, 25 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren.

Her daughters said she loved to live “in the spur of the moment”, even raring to have a go on a motorbike when she was in her 70s.

Her family said she is “loved so much” and missed greatly and is now at rest with their dad,

William “her soulmate” who she affectionately called Bonzo.

Eileen died aged 74 from Covid 19 on March 14, 2020. She was the first person in Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the second person in Scotland to die with the virus.

Annie Munro

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Annie Munro

Annie Munro was the youngest of nine children and she had six of her own. A tailoress in Glasgow, she was exceptionally clever with her hands and made clothes for her children when she could.

She loved her garden and she grew her own vegetables and fruit. When Annie developed Alzheimer’s, her daughter started a Facebook page and called it Annie’s Adventure.

Every week they would enjoy a day out and sharing pictures as a way of keeping Annie connected to her family.

She died aged 84 with Covid 19 on April 25, 2020.

Harry Kerridge

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Harry Kerridge

Harry Kerridge was passionate about the environment and shared his knowledge and love of the natural world with everyone around him.

He was full of stories and could recite poems with so much feeling the audience was transported to the scenes being described.

Harry’s family said he now lives on in their memories and in his legacy of wonderful paintings and wildlife photographs.

He died aged 88 with Covid 19 on May 10, 2020.

Nancy Maxwell

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Nancy Maxwell

Nancy Maxwell has been described as “beautiful and kind” by her family who said she loved life, adventure, travelling and her husband Ricky.

The family said they had so many memories still to make with her, but are “proud and privileged” to have had her as a mother, a confidant and a best friend.

A devoted grandmother to her grandchildren, her family said she adored them with all her heart.

Nancy died aged 76 with Covid 19 on April 24, 2020.

Ellen Haughey

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Ellen Haughey

Ellen Haughey is described as a “kind and gentle soul” by relatives who said she was someone they looked up to and aspired to be like.

Ellen was at her happiest spending time with her family and she would spend most summers chasing after her grandchildren and spoiling them with strawberry tarts.

Ellen retired at the age of 55 from McKellar Watts in Shettleston and settled into a happy retirement.

When her husband died in 2009, Ellen’s family said she was lost without him until she joined lunch clubs and made new friends.

Ellen died aged 85 with Covid 19 on April 9, 2020.

Debbie McMahon

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Debbie McMahon and husband Peter

Described as “the heart” of her family, Debbie McMahon married her school sweetheart, Peter, and together they had three children and four grandchildren.

Debbie worked at Scottish Fire and Rescue in Hamilton for nearly 25 years and her family said she loved her job.

On the day of her funeral, staff lined the route as the cortege passed Bothwell road fire station.

Her family said Debbie always had a smile on her face and was the “life and soul” of family gatherings.

Debbie died aged 53 with Covid 19 on October 18, 2020.

Andrew McGinley

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Andrew McGinley and wife Margaret.

Andrew McGinley was born and lived in Glasgow and worked as a joiner.

Happily married for 62 years to his wife Margaret, his family said he always claimed he didn’t need to play the lottery as he was already a millionaire due to his wife and family.

He was a proud father and grandfather to 15 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. His family said his motto of “hugs and kisses” will live on.

Andrew died aged 84 with Covid 19 on April 29, 2020.

Agnes Addison and David Wilson

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Agnes Addison and David Wilson

Agnes Addison was from Bannockburn and worked as a community carer.

Her grandchildren describe her as the most “generous, kind and open-minded” person

Her family said she was a “wonderful gran” and the “heart and soul” of the street she lived on.

Agnes passed away with Covid 19 in 2020 and was followed just a few months later by her grieving partner David Wilson.

Their family said they enjoyed their life together until the end, enjoying regular days out and weekends away together.

Agnes died aged 70 with Covid 19 on March 29, 2020. David Wilson passed away in October 2020 aged 62.

Allan Harper

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Allan Harper

Allan Harper lived in Glasgow all his life and was married to his wife Caroline for just under 20 years. His family said he was a “true gentleman” and was loved by all who knew him.

Allan worked all his life and he enjoyed playing computer games, watching Rangers and he loved animals.

His wife Caroline said they loved spending time together when they could, going out for walks and meals and just being there for each other.

A husband, a dad, a brother, an uncle, a great uncle, a brother-in-law – Allan’s family said he was also a great friend to everyone who knew him.

Allan died aged 60 with Covid 19 on December 1, 2020.

Davy Rossborough

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Davy Rossborough

Davy Rossborough from Clydebank is described as a “popular, friendly and courageous man” who loved going on holiday with his family and who enjoyed making memories with his grandson, Aaron.

His daughter, Margaret, said Davy “always made the most” of life and was a best friend and a supportive father to her.

He died aged 74 with Covid 19 on January 30, 2021.

Mark Gillan

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Mark Gillan

Mark Gillan from Glasgow was a “positive and happy” father-of-three who worked for 30 years in a soap factory and who was devoted to his wife, Jan, and daughters, Ebony, Hope and Brenna.

His family said he had a magical gift of drawing people to him and turning anything negative into a positive while filling their home with fun and laughter.

His wife Jan, a primary school support worker, said Mark was her “best friend” for 37 years and that he loved being a dad.

She said he was a very quiet man who listened more than he talked, but when he did talk “the whole world made sense”.

Mark died aged 53 with Covid 19 on April 27, 2020.

Sheila Gartly

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Sheila Gartly

Sheila Gartly from Keith in Moray was a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, who “lived for her family” and would always keep everyone informed of the news she received from friends and other relatives.

Described by those who knew her as being “bright as a button” she loved phoning her family and friends on a daily basis.

Her interests included watching the birds in her garden, reading her daily newspaper and listening to Scottish traditional or country music on the radio.

She loved the spring and summer months, light nights and flowers blooming in the garden.

Sheila’s family said that “the heart” of their family had been taken too soon.

She died aged 86 with Covid 19 on January 19, 2021.

Roddy McDonald

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Roddy McDonald

Roddy lived his whole life in the Coatbridge area and is described by his family as having a “great sense of humour” and being a devoted family man.

He left school to work in the local steel works as a plater and in the late 1970s started to work away from home spending a lot of time on the oil rigs.

He worked on the Piper Alpha where he lost many friends and
colleagues to the tragedy.

He married Ellen in December 1966 and had three children, Roddy, Fiona and Nicola. Sadly his wife, Ellen, passed away suddenly in May 2011 and he struggled to cope with this loss.

He was an avid Celtic and Scotland supporter and liked to socialise in the local bowling club and enjoyed a wee whisky.

He was a family man who worked hard to provide for his family and enjoyed spending time with his six grandchildren.

Described as a “quiet man and a loyal friend” his family said he “is missed greatly”.

He died aged 75 with Covid 19 on April 9, 2020.

Walentyna Alimowska

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Walentyna Alimowska with her daughter Dorota.

Walentyna Alimowska, originally from Poland, was a talented seamstress who made beautiful embroidery and who devoted her life to her faith and to her family as well as to helping others.

Described as being “full of life” she enjoyed gardening and was known for welcoming people into her home with open arms and her love of cooking, making delicious soups and thousands of pierogies to share with family and friends.

Her daughter, Dorota, said her mother was “passionate about people” and will always be remembered for her kindness and unconditional love for everyone.

Her family said she will be “forever in their hearts”.

She died aged 82 with Covid 19 on February 14, 2021 on Valentine’s Day – the day she shared her name with.

Connie Simpson

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Connie Simpson

Connie Simpson was known as “a strong, proud and kind” character and is described by her family as having a “heart of pure gold”.

She worked right up until her late 60’s as a curtain consultant and finished off her working life in a local newsagents.

Devoted to her family, her grandchildren said she was full of fun and laughter and was always the first up to dance at parties and the first with the latest gossip or story to tell.

Her family said she will always be remembered through love and laughter as “that is who she was and what she brought to our lives”.

She died aged 82 with Covid 19 on January 23, 2021.

Carol Rooney

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Carol Rooney

Carol Rooney grew up and lived in Coatbridge all of her life and was dedicated to her job as a school escort for children with disabilities.

Her daughter, Tracey, described her as a proud wife to husband Peter and loving mother to herself and her brother, Paul, as well as a devoted grandmother to her three grandchildren, Emily, Annabelle and Naomi.

Carol was a family person and she loved going away for holidays in the sun.

She died aged 68 with Covid 19 on April 22, 2020.

Mark Whittaker

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Mark Whittaker

Mark Whittaker’s family said he was a “happy-go-lucky” man, always telling jokes, singing and dancing.

Born in Edinburgh, Mark worked as a labourer and had six children, 22 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren.

Mark was admitted to hospital after a fall in his care home and true to character was singing and dancing on the ward soon after surgery.

Sadly, he then tested positive for covid after an outbreak on the ward.

He died aged 78 with Covid 19 on April 29, 2020.

Charles Hodge

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Charles Hodge

Charles Hodge worked with Harper Collins for many years as an engineer and his great interest was his collection of malt whiskies.

His family said he will always be remembered as a “true gentleman” and loving dad and papa.

Charles died aged 92 with Covid 19 on May 12, 2020


Charles: Philip would be ‘deeply touched’ by public support

Prince of Wales says reaction to his father's death will sustain royal family 'at this particularly sad time'.

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Prince Charles talking to his father, the Duke of Edinburgh.

The royal family are being helped through this “particularly sad time” by the public outpouring of support following the death of the “much-loved” Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales has said.

Charles spoke movingly of his “dear Papa”, who he said had devoted himself to the Queen, his family and the country for some 70 years.

The UK is officially in a period of national mourning for the next week, up to and including Philip’s funeral on Saturday afternoon.

A remembrance service will be held at Canterbury Cathedral on Sunday, with the Archbishop of Canterbury in attendance.

Next Saturday’s royal service in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, will be like no other, with the Queen and her family wearing face masks and socially distancing as they gather to say their final farewell amid coronavirus restrictions.

Speaking from his Gloucestershire home of Highgrove, Charles said his father had “given the most remarkable, devoted service to the Queen, to my family and to the country, but also to the whole of the Commonwealth”.

He added: “As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously,” and said Philip would be “deeply touched” by the people around the world sharing “our loss and our sorrow”.

Charles said: “My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him, and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that.

“It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time.”

While Charles spoke for the family on Saturday, his siblings visited the Queen – with the Duke of York and Princess Royal spotted at Windsor.

The Earl and the Countess of Wessex spent around an hour with the Queen at the castle, with a tearful Sophie telling reporters as she left: “The Queen has been amazing.”

Philip’s wishes are the driving force behind the funeral plans, and on the day his coffin will be transported from the castle to the chapel in a specially modified Land Rover he helped to design, and followed by Charles and senior royals on foot.

The coffin will be covered by the duke’s personal standard together with his naval cap and sword and a wreath of flowers.

Only 30 people – expected to be the Duke’s children, grandchildren and other close family – will attend as guests, but the Duchess of Sussex has been advised by her doctor not to travel to the UK for the funeral, a Palace spokesman said.

Mourners coming from outside England are required to self-isolate for the first full 10 days after they arrive, but are allowed to leave on compassionate grounds to attend a funeral of a close family member.

The Duke of Sussex, who will have travelled from the US, could also be released from quarantine if he gets a negative private test on day five under the Test to Release scheme.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given up his seat at the funeral to allow a family member to attend, No. 10 said.

While all public elements of the funeral – to take place entirely in the grounds of the castle – have been cancelled, it will be televised.

As the funeral procession makes its way through the grounds of the castle, Charles will be joined by senior royals – but not the Queen – walking behind the coffin and followed by Philip’s household, the most senior figure his private secretary Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell.

The route of the procession will be lined by representatives from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and RAF and the Service chiefs will walk ahead of the coffin, with the cortege led by the Band of the Grenadier Guards.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and David Conner, the Dean of Windsor, are expected to officiate at the service.

Mr Welby, giving a reflection from the chapel at Lambeth Palace on Saturday evening, said Philip had been someone with a “deep and genuine sense of service and humility”.

He said: “It wasn’t ‘me, me, me’. It was about the world, about those he served, and in doing that his own role was more and more significant.

“He had a righteous impatience. He would not accept the status quo. If things were not right, he would say so and say so quickly, and clearly, and often bluntly.

“Prince Philip, also though, had a deep and genuine sense of service and humility.”

He described him as someone who “knew the talents he had and what he could bring, and he brought them 100%, at full throttle, right through his life”.

The duke died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday, two months before his 100th birthday.

On Saturday, gun salutes were fired across the UK, in Gibraltar and at sea in tribute.

A Palace spokesman said the royal family hoped the coming days would be seen as a chance to celebrate the duke’s “remarkable life”.

He added that despite the “significant adaptations” due to the pandemic restrictions, the occasion “will be no less fitting a farewell to His Royal Highness”.

The royal family has appealed to people who wish to pay their respects in person to stay at home instead.

A royal marriage: The love story of Philip and Elizabeth

Married for more than 70 years, the Queen and Philip enjoyed a happy life together.

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Love story: The Queen and Prince Philip were married for more than 70 years.

Theirs was a marriage of partnership, respect and devotion to one another.

For more than 70 years, the Queen and Prince Philip lived a life which encompassed love and duty, serving the country and for Philip himself, his own wife. 

For Prince Philip it could be no other way; his bride to be was destined to be Queen and in marrying her, would support her as a husband and as her consort.

They met when the young princess was just a teenager and he still held his title as the Prince of Greece and Denmark.

At just 13 years of age, it is said she vowed never to settle for another man. 

Yet with no financial standing, no kingdom and sisters who had married Nazis, he was a controversial choice for a young princess.

But she loved him. For her that was simply enough.

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Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten following their engagement in 1947.

Philip proposed to Elizabeth at Balmoral in 1946, a place which would mean a great deal to them as they grew their family in later years.

The young princess accepted without first consulting the King and Queen.

King George VI agreed to their marriage but insisted that a formal engagement was delayed until his eldest daughter turned 21 the following spring. 

In letters written soon after their wedding in 1947, Elizabeth’s devotion to Philip shone through the pages.

“Philip is an angel,” she told her parents. “We behave as though we had belonged to each other for years.”

In return he enthused: “She is the only thing in the world which is absolutely real to me.”

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Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip on their wedding day in 1947.

A formal proposal in July 1947 followed, with Philip proposing to Elizabeth with a diamond ring consisting of a centre stone flanked by ten smaller pave diamonds.

It was a nod to Philip’s past as they prepared for their future – his mother had gifted the prince a tiara she was given on her own wedding day so that her son could have it dismantled and created into a new piece for his future wife. 

Designing the ring himself, he would also have a bracelet made with other stones from the tiara, given to the princess as a wedding gift. 

While elegant diamonds marked their engagement, their wedding was by comparison a little more austere, as far as one could imagine for a future queen. 

She collected ration tokens to purchase the material for her wedding gown, a duchess satin dress covered with motifs of star lilies and orange blossoms. 

Before their wedding, Philip relinquished his titles and converted to Anglicanism, taking the name Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, the surname of his mother’s British family. 

He was made a royal highness by King George and on the morning of the wedding, became the Duke of Edinburgh.

It was a sacrifice for Philip but one he duly made for for his wife, who would one day become his queen. 

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Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip enjoying a walk during their honeymoon.

The couple honeymooned at Balmoral before beginning married life in a country house near Windsor Castle, later taking up residence at Clarence House in London. 

Soon their family began to grow, with Prince Charles arriving in 1948 and Princess Anne in 1950.

They had precious few years together as ‘simply’ Princess and Duke, pet corgis became part of the family and they travelled to Balmoral as much as they could, enjoying picnics on the grounds.

“Balmoral is a place one looks forward to very much as the summer goes on,” reflected the Queen in the 1990s.

“I think it has an atmosphere of its own. You just hibernate; but it’s rather nice to hibernate for a bit when one lives such a very movable life.”

Their lives changed forever upon King George VI’s death in 1952. They had been carrying out a royal tour in Kenya and when news reached of his death, Philip was the one to tell his wife. 

It is often said that she ascended the steps of the treetop hotel in which they were staying a Princess, and descended as Queen. 

So began the biggest step in Prince Philip and the now-Queen Elizabeth’s marriage. He would be her consort, her supporter while she became head of state and defender of the faith. 

The change did not come without its challenges. It was decided the House of Windsor would remain and Philip privately complained “I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his own children”.

In later years, Philip and Elizabeth’s male-line descendants who did not carry royal titles would become Mountbatten-Windsor’s.

At Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953, Prince Philip knelt before her and swore to be her “liege man of life and limb”.

The now-Queen made sure of it, announcing the Duke to have “place, pre-eminence and precedence” next to her “on all occasions and in all meetings, except where otherwise provided by Act of Parliament“. 

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Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh wave at the crowds from the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

In 1957, she restored a title onto him which he held when they first met – making him a Prince, although a British one at that. 

Soon Princes Andrew and Edward arrived into the family and so began decades of royal tours, balls, and state visits, with the couple side by side. 

As their children grew, married and had children of their own, the Queen and Prince Philip relished their roles as grandparents – with Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, children of Prince Andrew often fondly referring to the Queen as “granny”.

Yet there would be troubled times ahead – Prince Philip was said to have ‘pressured’ his son Charles into proposing to Lady Diana Spencer in a letter as he continued to live life as a bachelor. 

Then as fast as the fairytale weddings happened, they began to crumble. 

In 1992, dubbed by the Queen as her ‘annus horribilis’, three of her children’s marriages broke down and a huge fire engulfed Windsor Castle. 

It was a turning point for the royal family.

Following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, the royal family was criticised for their seclusion, with the Queen and Prince Philip opting to shield their young grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry from the press at Balmoral. 

Failing to fly a flag at half-mast over Buckingham Palace caused controversy and pressured by the hostile reaction of the press, the Queen made a live television broadcast the day before the funeral, expressing admiration for Diana and her feelings as a grandmother for the two princes.

The couple would round a difficult year with their golden wedding anniversary, holding a reception at Banqueting House to mark the occasion. 

It was then she famously referred to her husband as “my strength and stay”.

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Queen Elizabeth II famously referred to Prince Philip as “my strength and stay”.

As the years passed, occasions such as Prince William’s marriage to Catherine Middleton and the subsequent birth of their three children George, Charlotte and Louis brought great joy to the couple. 

Prince Harry wed former actress Meghan Markle in 2018, later announcing they were expecting their first child the following spring. Their union was widely seen as steps towards a more modern monarchy. 

However the couple soon decided to step away from their roles as senior members of the royal family and moved to the US, with Prince Harry stating in interviews that he remained close with his grandmother and grandfather despite tensions with other family members. 

Now great-grandparents to ten children and the Duchess of Sussex pregnant with her second child, Philip and Elizabeth began to wind down their duties, with Philip formerly stepping away from public duties in 2017. 

Their children and grandchildren would take more of an active role as senior royals as the couple enjoyed their nineties.

On February 6, 2017, Elizabeth became the first British monarch to commemorate a Sapphire Jubilee, and months later on November 20, she was the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum wedding anniversary.

The church bells of Westminster Abbey rang for three hours in celebration and the couple enjoyed a private dinner at Windsor Castle.

After 73 years of marriage, they remained as committed as the day they met. Quaintly, they were said to still take afternoon tea together every day.

In that famous golden wedding speech in 1997, Elizabeth said: “He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments. But he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years.

“I and his whole family, in this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know.”

He remained at her side for more than 70 years until his death in 2021. It was the longest marriage of any UK monarch.

Edinburgh Castle gun salute marks Prince Philip’s death

Saluting batteries fired 41 rounds in cities across the UK following the Duke of Edinburgh's death at the age of 99.

WPA POOL/POOL via Getty Images

Gun salutes have been fired at Edinburgh Castle to mark the death of the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99.

Saluting batteries began firing 41 rounds at one round every minute from midday on Saturday in cities across the UK including London, Cardiff and Belfast, as well as from Royal Navy warships.

Ships taking part included HMS Diamond, HMS Montrose and HMNB Portsmouth, while the Royal Gibraltar Regiment joined the salute from the British overseas territory, the Ministry of Defence said.

Buckingham Palace said Philip died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday, two months before his 100th birthday, leaving the Queen and the royal family “mourning his loss”.

The public were encouraged to observe the gun salutes, which are fired to mark significant national events, on television or online, rather than gathering in crowds to watch outside.

Edward and the Countess of Wessex spent around an hour at the castle and Sophie told reporters “the Queen has been amazing” as they left Windsor in a Land Rover.

Two of his sons, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex, arrived at Windsor Castle on Saturday morning, while the Prince of Wales visited his mother there on Friday.

Details of the duke’s funeral, due to take place at St George’s Chapel, are also expected to be released this weekend – but the ongoing lockdown in England will affect plans.

Philip, famously described by the Queen as her “constant strength and guide”, was known to have wanted a minimum of fuss at his funeral.

Buckingham Palace said: “During the coronavirus pandemic, and in light of current Government advice and social distancing guidelines, modified funeral and ceremonial arrangements for His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh are being considered by Her Majesty The Queen. Details will be confirmed in due course.”

Speaking on a BBC tribute on Friday evening, all four of Philip’s children remembered him as someone who had encouraged and supported them.

Charles described his father’s life as an “astonishing achievement” while Edward said his father had a “challenging role” but carried it out with the most “extraordinary flare”, and had never tried to overshadow the Queen.

The Princess Royal said she would best remember her father as “always being there”, someone to help with a problem or bounce ideas off, and the Duke of York recalled Philip reading to the family in the evenings.

An online book of condolence was opened on the royal family’s official website for the public to post personal tributes, while a steady stream of mourners left flowers outside both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle on Friday.

The Palace asked members of the public not to gather in crowds, saying: “Those wishing to express their condolences are asked to do so in the safest way possible, and not to gather at Royal Residences.”

The monarch may give a televised address in memory of her husband of more than 70 years – the longest-serving consort in British history – but details of any possible broadcast have yet to be confirmed.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Philip would be remembered for his Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, that had “shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people”, as well as his “steadfast support” for the Queen.

US President Joe Biden highlighted the duke’s “decades of devoted public service”, Second World War service and environmental efforts in remembering his legacy.

During coronavirus lockdowns, Philip stayed at Windsor Castle with the Queen for their safety, alongside a reduced household of staff dubbed HMS Bubble.

The couple are thought to have spent more time together during the past 12 months, shielding from the virus, then they would in a normal year – a throwback to the early years of their marriage.

Philip had returned to Windsor Castle on March 16 to be reunited with the Queen after spending a month in hospital – his longest ever stay.

He initially received care for an infection but then underwent heart surgery for a pre-existing condition.

Union flags were flown at half mast at all royal residences as a mark of respect and Westminster Abbey – where the Queen and Philip married in 1947 – tolled its tenor bell once every 60 seconds, 99 times, during Friday evening.

A period of mourning is expected and any planned official royal events that fall within this period are likely to be postponed.

The Cabinet met at 5pm on Friday to pay tribute to the duke, and Parliament will be recalled from its Easter recess on Monday, a day earlier than its scheduled return.

Army regiment plays key role in Prince Philip gun salute

Reservists from 105 Regiment Royal Artillery at heart of tribute marking Duke of Edinburgh's life in the capital on Saturday.

STV News

Military reservists involved in Saturday’s gun salute marking the Duke of Edinburgh’s life have spoken of their pride at being involved in the historic event.

Saluting batteries began firing 41 rounds at one round every minute from midday on Saturday in cities across the UK including London, Cardiff and Belfast, as well as from Royal Navy warships.

Jenny Findlay, a bombardier with 105 Regiment Royal Artillery, said: “It’s a big moment, it’s a sad moment, (I’m) feeling for the Royal Family, it’s a member of their family that they have lost but, yeah, proud to be a part of the moment.”

“A lot of drill goes into it, a lot of practice and preparation – I know that a lot goes on behind the scenes that we as reservists don’t always see as well; a lot of kit fittings, checks, they get done really regularly and just constant keeping on top of things.”

Jenny, who is also a mobile services manager with NHS WestMARC, added: “It’s been a busy wee while; the patients are still needing service and keeping going.”

Buckingham Palace said Prince Philip died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday, two months before his 100th birthday, leaving the Queen and the royal family “mourning his loss”.

The public were encouraged to observe the gun salutes, which are fired to mark significant national events, on television or online, rather than gathering in crowds to watch outside.

Mike Frew, senior permanent staff instructor at 105 Regiment Royal Artillery, was also involved in Saturday’s tribute in Edinburgh.

He said: “I was the troop sargeant major, making sure rehearsals were going fine and marching the troops on and off of the salute itself, and also the timekeepers – I was telling them when to fire.

“It’s an absolute honour to take part in a ceremony like this, it’s such a prestigious thing firing at the castle itself but that did have a bit of additional weight to it, just to make sure we gave the correct send-off that was required.”

Charles pays tribute to ‘dear Papa’ as funeral details announced

Buckingham Palace announced that Philip’s ceremonial royal funeral will take place on April 17.

Andrew Milligan via PA Media
Duke of Edinburgh: Funeral to take place on April 17.

The Prince of Wales has paid a moving tribute to his “dear Papa” – highlighting his “remarkable, devoted service to the Queen” – as details of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral were released.

Buckingham Palace announced that Philip’s ceremonial royal funeral will take place on April 17 in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and a national minute’s silence will be observed as it begins at 3pm.

The royal funeral like no other, with the Queen and her family following guidelines and wearing face masks and socially distancing as they gather to say their final farewell.

Speaking from his Gloucestershire home of Highgrove on behalf of the royal family, Charles said: “I particularly wanted to say that my father, for I suppose the last 70 years, has given the most remarkable, devoted service to the Queen, to my family and to the country, but also to the whole of the Commonwealth.”

He added: “As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously,” and said he would be “deeply touched” by the people around the world sharing “our loss and our sorrow”.

The prince said: “My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him, and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that.

“It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time.”

The duke’s coffin will be transported from the castle to the chapel in a specially modified Land Rover he helped to design, and followed by the Prince of Wales and senior royals on foot, a Palace official said.

The Queen has approved the Prime Minister’s recommendation of national mourning, which began on April 9 and runs until and including the day of the funeral.

Only 30 people – expected to be the Duke’s children, grandchildren and other close family – will attend as guests, but the Duchess of Sussex has been advised by her physician not to travel to the UK for the funeral, a Palace spokesman said.

It is understood Meghan made every effort to be able to travel with Harry, who will be among the mourners, but has not received the medical clearance to board a plane.

Originally 800 people would have been due to gather to pay their respects to the nation’s longest serving consort, but Philip is known to have wanted a low key affair.

All public elements of the funeral have been cancelled, it will be televised but take place entirely in the grounds of the castle, the Palace said.

The Queen has decided the royal family will enter two weeks of royal mourning, and engagements will continue appropriate to the circumstances, a senior royal official said.

Public elements of Operation Forth Bridge – the codename for the duke’s funeral plans – were abandoned for fear of drawing crowds including the long held arrangements for military processions through London and Windsor.

Instead, the proceedings will take place entirely in the grounds of Windsor Castle, televised, but away from public view and with no access for royal fans.

The public has been told not to attempt to attend any events in connection to funeral in newly issued Government guidance.

The Cabinet Office reiterated a plea for flowers not to be left at royal residences and advised businesses they may wish to make arrangements to observe the national minute’s silence at 3pm that day.

Firms were not expected to close, and organisers of sporting events were told it is their decision whether fixtures should continue as planned.

The duke died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday, two months before his 100th birthday, leaving the Queen and the royal family “mourning his loss”.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: Prince Philip’s greatest legacy

The DofE became one of the best known self-development and adventure schemes for young people.

Pool / Pool via Getty Images
Prince Philip attends the reception for The Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award holders at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is likely to be judged Prince Philip’s greatest legacy.

Aimed at both able-bodied and disabled youngsters, it became one of the best known self-development and adventure schemes for 14 to 24-year-olds.

The duke was inspired to start the programme by his headmaster, Dr Kurt Hahn, and his much-loved school days at Gordonstoun in Moray.

He was closely involved in the organisation throughout and defended it against accusations that it was an award only for the middle classes.

2016 saw the scheme celebrate its 60th anniversary.

Despite his part in its success, Philip was always modest about his role.

He once maintained that he “couldn’t care less” whether the scheme was seen as an important part of his legacy.

“Legacy? … It’s got nothing to do with me. It’s there for people to use. I couldn’t care less,” he barked.

He added: “It’s relevant too because it’s part of the process of growing up.”

Influential Gordonstoun head Dr Hahn had believed modern life was facing a decline in enterprise and compassion and encouraged boys to embrace physical and moral challenges.

His Salem school in Germany, which Philip briefly attended, was set up to produce self-reliant young people dedicated to serving the community.

But in 1933 Adolf Hitler intervened and Dr Hahn was arrested for resisting Nazi ideas.

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The award ward is likely to be judged Prince Philip’s greatest legacy.

He was later released and came to Britain and founded the UK version of Salem – Gordonstoun.

Dr Hahn began a scheme there called the Moray Badge which was aimed at giving post-war youngsters in Britain a sense of achievement.

Twenty years later, after Philip had married Princess Elizabeth and she had become Queen, it was the duke’s turn to take the concept further.

Dr Hahn reportedly instructed him: “My boy, I want you to set up an award scheme like the one we had at Gordonstoun.”

For Philip, the process was not as straightforward as that.

A number of politicians were wary about the proposed title for the scheme – the Royal Badge.

Others had concerns about a prince with German family connections being involved in the development of youngsters in post-war Britain and some feared that what he was trying to set up would have some echoes of the Hitler Youth.

But the idea moved forward despite the reservations.

An activity-based County Badge Scheme was created, then a committee was set up which included four-minute mile athlete Roger Bannister.

Finally, in 1956, the project was launched with the Duke as patron.

Initially, it was aimed at offering young men activities to complete between leaving education and starting National Service.

In 1958, a girls’ scheme began.

Philip recalled how he thought he was being “progressive” by starting up the girls’ organisation separately, but years later was told by the Equal Opportunities Commission that they had to do the same as the boys.

He said it was hard persuading the girls to part with their scheme. “They had become rather attached to it by then,” he remarked.

Each award had four areas: Rescue & Public Service, Expeditions, Pursuits & Projects, and Fitness.

Later the sections were updated to their current form: Volunteering, Skills, Physical and Expedition.

There are three levels of award: Bronze, Silver and Gold, each with an increasing degree of commitment. The activities must be completed by the participant’s 25th birthday.

The millions of people that have taken part over the last 50 years include polar adventurer David Hempleman-Adams, presenter Zoe Ball and Olympic gold medal-winning athlete Dame Kelly Holmes.

Now since 1956, more than six million have joined the scheme in the UK with over three million achieving awards.

Millions of others have taken part across the globe, with more than 140 countries and territories running DofE programmes.

The Earl of Wessex, who is expected to take on his father’s responsibilities with the scheme, is already a trustee and heavily involved in the organisation.

In October 2013, the duke celebrated the 500th Gold Award presentation ceremony.

He joked with one group who told him of the hardships of their expedition: “You were meant to suffer, it’s good for the soul.”

Scottish Cup ties at risk after Duke’s funeral date confirmed

Buckingham Palace announced that Philip’s ceremonial royal funeral will take place on April 17.

Craig Williamson via SNS Group
The Scottish FA has begun discussions over the fourth round ties.

The Scottish FA has said that it has begun dialogue over next week’s Scottish Cup ties after Buckingham Palace announced details of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

The funeral is to take place on Saturday, April 17 at 3pm.

The fourth round of the Scottish Cup is scheduled to take place next weekend, with one lunchtime game, four 3pm matches and Celtic and Rangers due to kick off at 4pm.

Those games are now open to a change of date and time.

A Scottish FA statement read: “In light of confirmation that the funeral of HRH Prince Philip will take place next Saturday at 3pm, we have entered dialogue with the relevant stakeholders with regard to Scottish Cup Fourth Round fixtures scheduled on that day. 

“We will update participating clubs, supporters and partners in due course.”


Final farewell to Duke of Edinburgh set for April 17

Buckingham Palace announced that Philip’s ceremonial royal funeral will take place on April 17.

STV News
Philip: Funeral to take place next Saturday.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s final farewell will be a royal funeral like no other, with the Queen and her family following guidelines and wearing face masks and socially distancing as they gather to pay tribute.

Buckingham Palace announced that Philip’s ceremonial royal funeral will take place on April 17 in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and a national minute’s silence will be observed as it begins at 3pm.

The duke’s coffin will be transported from the castle to the chapel in a specially modified Land Rover he helped to design, and followed by the Prince of Wales and senior royals on foot, a senior Palace official said.

The Queen has approved the Prime Minister’s recommendation of national mourning, which began on April 9 and runs until and including the day of the funeral.

Only 30 people – expected to be the Duke’s children, grandchildren and other close family – will attend as guests, but the Duchess of Sussex has been advised by her physician not to travel to the UK for the funeral, a Palace spokesman said.

It is understood Meghan made every effort to be able to travel with Harry, who will be among the mourners, but has not received the medical clearance to board a plane.

Originally 800 people would have been due to gather to pay their respects to the nation’s longest serving consort, but Philip is known to have wanted a low key affair.

All public elements of the funeral have been cancelled, it will be televised but take place entirely in the grounds of the castle, the Palace said.

The Queen has decided the royal family will enter two weeks of royal mourning, and engagements will continue appropriate to the circumstances, a senior royal official said.

Public elements of Operation Forth Bridge – the codename for the duke’s funeral plans – were abandoned for fear of drawing crowds including the long held arrangements for military processions through London and Windsor.

Instead, the proceedings will take place entirely in the grounds of Windsor Castle, televised, but away from public view and with no access for royal fans.

Boris Johnson will not attend the service to allow for the attendance of as many family members as possible during coronavirus restrictions.

The Prime Minister was understood to have been expected to attend the ceremony for Philip by the royals, but offered to step aside with the number of guests allowed limited to 30.

It will be unlike typical royal send-offs, with the public being told to stay away because of the pandemic.

A No 10 spokesman said: “As a result of the Coronavirus regulations, only 30 people can attend the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“The Prime Minister has throughout wanted to act in accordance with what is best for the royal household, and so to allow for as many family members as possible will not be attending the funeral on Saturday”.

The public has been told not to attempt to attend any events in connection to funeral in Government guidance.

The Cabinet Office reiterated a plea for flowers not to be left at royal residences and advised businesses they may wish to make arrangements to observe the national minute’s silence at 3pm that day.

Firms were not expected to close, and organisers of sporting events were told it is their decision whether fixtures should continue as planned.

The duke died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday, two months before his 100th birthday, leaving the Queen and the royal family “mourning his loss”.

The Earl and the Countess of Wessex spent around an hour with the Queen at the castle on Saturday, with a tearful Sophie telling reporters as she left: “The Queen has been amazing.”

The Duke of York also arrived at Windsor on Saturday, while the Prince of Wales visited his mother there on Friday.

Gun salutes have been fired across the UK, in Gibraltar and at sea in tribute to the duke.

‘Let me travel abroad for life-changing treatment’

Emma Pratt says current coronavirus restrictions are stopping her from accessing stem cell treatment abroad.

STV News

Emma Pratt was a fit and healthy 25-year-old, when she suddenly lost her sight. 

Doctors quickly diagnosed her with multiple sclerosis, a lifelong condition that affects the brain and nerves. 

Emma’s sight returned but she has been left with permanent disabilities that affect her everyday life.

Despite worsening symptoms, she doesn’t meet the criteria to receive stem cell treatment in Scotland, even though it could slow the progression of her condition. 

Instead, Emma is looking to have treatment abroad but is prevented from travelling due to the pandemic.

“The flights are booked because, regardless of the rules, I know I have to do this now,” she says. “So we will figure it out, but it’s the unknown which makes it very scary. 

“Because of Covid, I haven’t been able to do bric-a-brac sales and ask people to run marathons for me [to raise money]. Literally asking for people’s help has been the only thing we’ve been able to do.”

It has now been ten years since her diagnosis, but Emma has found it impossible to come to terms with.

“I don’t think it ever really sets in,” she says. “I live every day as it comes because I don’t know how my symptoms are going to be.

“Even the simple things like pushing [my son Rory] on a swing and taking him for a walk and running races in the garden and hours of hide and seek… 

“Those are the things that a three-year-old wants to do with mummy, and it’s hard to not be able to do those things.”

STV News
David Balmer is currently unable to access MND treatment in Mexico.

Fundraising is something 41-year-old David Balmer is also finding difficult.

The father-of-two was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019 and now struggles to speak, so his sister Lynsay helps to communicate his thoughts.

“There was one drug offered that gives you, well so they say, an extra three months on top of your diagnosis,” she says. He said ‘no way’, we weren’t accepting that.”

Despite many obstacles, David made it to Mexico last October for experimental stem cell treatment.

“It was totally beneficial, it was worth it,” says Lynsay. “And he’s now needing to go back for follow-up treatment, but it’s causing more difficulties and more problems again. 

“Time is something that we don’t really have, you need to do things quickly.”

Raising funds for the treatment has also been made difficult for David, but he’s not giving up hope.

Lynsay says: “He’s saying without his family and the people behind him that he wouldn’t be here, but he’s very strong.”

There are exemptions to the current travel and quarantine restrictions, but David and Emma don’t meet the criteria. They feel this needs to change.

The Scottish Government said: “We understand the difficulties faced with those who are dealing with health issues, but to manage the risk of importing new variants and to give vaccine deployment the best chance of bringing us closer to normality these limits on international travel are necessary.

“There is a provision that an exemption can be granted to a person whom Scottish ministers consider requires exceptional arrangements to be made on compassionate grounds. 

“It would be preferable for all concerned if any such exemption were applied for and confirmed or denied in advance of travel, to remove uncertainty.”

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