Queen knew 'she wasn't going to come back' from Balmoral before she died, claims royal expert

'I think she wanted to be in Balmoral and she wanted to pass there. And the fact that she did peacefully is actually a blessing in all of this,' Katie Nicholl said

Queen knew 'she wasn't going to come back' from Balmoral before she died, claims royal expert
Queen Elizabeth II waits in the drawing room of Balmoral Castle on September 6, 2022, in Aberdeen, Scotland (Jane Barlow/Getty Images)
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WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM: Queen Elizabeth II “knew she wasn’t going to come back” from the Balmoral home where she died peacefully aged 96, a royal expert has claimed. Katie Nicholl, who is a royal correspondent of Vanity Fair, appeared on the BBC on September 12, 2022, where she added that the Queen could be just a "mother, grandmother and great-grandmother there" and "leave her crown at the gates" of the castle. 

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While speaking to the presenter, Nicholl said, "The Queen knew she wasn’t going to come back (to Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace)." The presenter Huw Edwards said, "The Queen, with serious health issues, decided nonetheless that she did want to spend a good deal of time at Balmoral during the summer. That decision speaks volumes really about the fact that she was very comfortable to be in Balmoral, somewhere where she was happy to be with lots of good memories, but knowing too, with health issues and the challenges there, it might be a difficult stay and yet she insisted on making the journey." 

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"She insisted on making the journey and I think, she was the Queen of Scots and I think she wanted this to be part of her homecoming, her ultimate homecoming," Katie replied. The author then added that it was "deeply moving" to see the Queen's coffin leave Balmoral, "Knowing that she would never return to the place where she'd enjoyed holidays as a little girl." 

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Queen Elizabeth II is joined by one of her dogs, a Dorgi called Candy, as she views a display of memorabilia from her Golden and Platinum Jubilees in the Oak Room at Windsor Castle on February 4, 2022 in Windsor, England. The Queen has since travelled to her Sandringham estate where she traditionally spends the anniversary of her accession to the throne - February 6 - a poignant day as it is the date her father King George VI died in 1952.
Queen Elizabeth II is joined by one of her dogs, a Dorgi called Candy, as she views a display of memorabilia from her Golden and Platinum Jubilees in the Oak Room at Windsor Castle on February 4, 2022, in Windsor, England (Steve Parsons-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

"I think Balmoral was the one place where she could actually leave her crown at the gates and be a different role, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother," Nicholl continued. "I actually think there's a bit of her that knew she wasn't going to come back, I think she wanted to be in Balmoral and she wanted to pass there. And the fact that she did peacefully is actually a blessing in all of this." 

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Queen Elizabeth II greest well wishers with corgis during a visit to Sherborne Abbey on May 1, 2012 in Sherborne, England.  The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are visiting the South West of England as part of their Diamond Jubilee Tour of the country.
Queen Elizabeth II greets well-wishers with corgis during a visit to Sherborne Abbey on May 1, 2012, in Sherborne, England (Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Balmoral was also a favorite place of the Queen’s late husband Prince Philip, who died in April 2021 weeks short of his 100th birthday. It was one of only two royal residences personally owned by the monarch, with the other Sandringham in Norfolk. The Queen traditionally traveled to the estate every summer and stayed until October. In the 2016 documentary 'Our Queen at Ninety', Princess Eugenie said of Balmoral, "It's the most beautiful place on Earth. I think Granny is most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands. Walks, picnics, dogs, a lot of dogs, there's always dogs - and people coming in and out all the time. It's a lovely base for Granny and Grandpa, for us to come and see them up there, where you just have room to breathe and run." 

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Queen Elizabeth greets newly elected leader of the Conservative party Liz Truss as she arrives at Balmoral Castle for an audience where she will be invited to become Prime Minister and form a new government on September 6, 2022 in Aberdeen, Scotland. The Queen broke with the tradition of meeting the new prime minister and Buckingham Palace, after needing to remain at Balmoral Castle due to mobility issues.
Queen Elizabeth greets Liz Truss as she arrives at Balmoral Castle for an audience on September 6, 2022, in Aberdeen, Scotland (Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Courtiers say she spent her time balancing work and leisure time, reading diplomatic papers from her famous red boxes containing daily updates and royal business, while also hosting prime ministers at the estate.

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