King Charles III and his wife thank team behind Queen’s final journey from beloved Balmoral estate


King Charles III paid special thanks to the team who organised and supported his mother’s final journey from her beloved Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire after her death.

The new monarch, 73, and his wife Camilla, 75, attended a reception at Station Square, the Victoria and Albert Halls, in the village of Ballater, which was beloved by the Queen, and where tractors formed a guard of honour during her funeral procession from Balmoral to Edinburgh on September 11. 

The pair were pictured reminiscing on headlines documenting the Queen’s passing and her final send off as they mingled with attendees.

Photos from the heartwarming event also showed crowds lining up in front of Ballater station, in anticipation for the King and Queen Consort’s visit. 

The new monarch, 73, and his wife Camilla, 75, attended a reception at Station Square, the Victoria and Albert Halls, in the village of Ballater

The pair, adorned in tartan were welcomed to the Victoria and Albert Halls as pipes played on arrival

The pair, adorned in tartan were welcomed to the Victoria and Albert Halls as pipes played on arrival

The Queen Consort opted for a tartan-printed ensemble as she attended the engagement in Aberdeenshire

The Queen Consort opted for a tartan-printed ensemble as she attended the engagement in Aberdeenshire

Charles sported a traditional kilt, teamed with an elegant grey blazer and Camilla followed suit with a similarly tartan ensemble. 

Her skirt was teamed with a chic black jacket, featuring a matching patterned collar.

The pair were welcomed to the Victoria and Albert Halls by the Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, Alexander Philip Manson, his wife, Barbara Manson – alongside the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, Joanna, Marchioness of Aberdeen. – as pipes played on arrival.

They were greeted by the fire and ambulance services, officers from Police Scotland as well as local pupils from Ballater’s Crathie School.

Camilla dressed for the chilly day in a tartan ensemble, throwing on a pair of gloves and some tights to keep warm

Camilla dressed for the chilly day in a tartan ensemble, throwing on a pair of gloves and some tights to keep warm

They also got the chance to greet the horses and riders who lined the route of the cortege as it travelled from Balmoral

They also got the chance to greet the horses and riders who lined the route of the cortege as it travelled from Balmoral

The Queen Consort gently petted on the horses who escorted the Queen's hearse during her journey from Balmoral to Edinburgh in September

The Queen Consort gently petted on the horses who escorted the Queen’s hearse during her journey from Balmoral to Edinburgh in September 

Camilla gave the animal a warm smile as she petted his nose during her and the King's visit to Aberdeenshire

Camilla gave the animal a warm smile as she petted his nose during her and the King’s visit to Aberdeenshire 

Upon his arrival, the King shook hands with and thanked the royal fans who had come to greet him and the Queen consort.

In an emotional moment, he also gently petted the horse who escorted his mother’s hearse from Balmoral after her death was announced. 

The Queen Consort followed suit was smiled as she petted the beautiful groomed animals.  

Todays engagement aims to share the detailed planning taken by North East of Scotland, which was the backbone of the mammoth effort following the Queen’s death, with the King and Queen Consort. 

The royals got to see the vehicles which formed the tractor tribute at Banchory, and met the drivers involved.

They also got the chance to greet the horses and riders who lined the route of the cortege as it travelled from Balmoral.

Charles and Camilla mingled with council workers, agencies and volunteers behind the incredible send-off, and were treated to a digitised media display of the events.

Charles sported a traditional kilt, teamed with an elegant grey blazer and Camilla followed suit with a similarly tartan ensemble

Charles sported a traditional kilt, teamed with an elegant grey blazer and Camilla followed suit with a similarly tartan ensemble

The Reverend Addie, a Ballater resident, attended the reception and proudly showed the King the baton he was presented with for being an usher at Queen Elizabeth II's wedding in 1947

The Reverend Addie, a Ballater resident, attended the reception and proudly showed the King the baton he was presented with for being an usher at Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding in 1947

Civic leaders, strategic and tactical leads, managers and supervisors, community liaison representatives and Crathie School pupils attended the reception.

Charles and Camilla mingled with council workers, agencies and volunteers behind the incredible send-off, and were treated to a digitised media display of the events

Charles and Camilla mingled with council workers, agencies and volunteers behind the incredible send-off, and were treated to a digitised media display of the events

Photos from the heartwarming event also showed crowds lining up in front of Ballater station, in anticipation for the King and Queen Consort's visit

Photos from the heartwarming event also showed crowds lining up in front of Ballater station, in anticipation for the King and Queen Consort’s visit

People pictured gathering in tribute last month, as the cortege carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II passed by in Ballater

People pictured gathering in tribute last month, as the cortege carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II passed by in Ballater

Also present were attendees from Police Scotland, the Fire and Ambulance Services, transporting dignitaries, and the stewarding company who helped keep the public safe.

As many as 550 people were involved in the delivery of the Council plans, all of which were delivered against the spectacular backdrop of Balmoral and Deeside.

It is estimated that 25,000 people attended along the cortege route in Aberdeenshire on September 11. 

Tearful well-wishers had paid a fond farewell to the Queen last month, after her coffin left Balmoral accompanied by a sombre Princess Anne for a six-hour journey to Edinburgh.

A hearse carrying the late monarch passed through the gates of her beloved Highland home, and minutes later travelled through Ballater where villagers – many of whom knew the monarch personally – threw flowers onto the road.

A hushed silence descended as people bowed their heads and the Lord Lieutenants from Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire stood to attention outside Glenmuick church. 

A hearse carrying the late monarch passed through the gates of her beloved Highland home, and minutes later travelled through Ballater where villagers - many of whom knew the monarch personally - threw flowers onto the road

A hearse carrying the late monarch passed through the gates of her beloved Highland home, and minutes later travelled through Ballater where villagers – many of whom knew the monarch personally – threw flowers onto the road

With a single motorbike outrider leading the way and six vehicles following, the hearse travelled at a stately pace through the Aberdeenshire countryside to Aberdeen, with Princess Anne and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence following directly behind in a state Bentley. 

At one point, as the cortege travelled through Dundee, a lone long-stemmed flower could be seen on the hearse windscreen and in a rural part of the route farmers paid homage to the Queen with tractors lined up in a field. 

Hundreds lined the main street as the Queen’s coffin was driven slowly through Ballater, the village closest to the Balmoral estate, where many locals considered her a neighbour.

In Peterculter people lined up on horseback to pay their respects, an appropriate gesture for Queen Elizabeth who was an avid rider

In Peterculter people lined up on horseback to pay their respects, an appropriate gesture for Queen Elizabeth who was an avid rider

Tractors lined both sides of the road as the Queen's cortege passed through the Aberdeenshire countryside on its way to Edinburgh

Tractors lined both sides of the road as the Queen’s cortege passed through the Aberdeenshire countryside on its way to Edinburgh

The Queen and her family were often seen in the village on her beloved Royal Deeside, which she had visited since childhood and where the royal family are allowed space to be themselves.

Many shops in the picturesque Victorian village displayed photographs of the Queen in their windows in tribute.

The hearse passed Glenmuick Church where the Rev Davi Barr had rung the church bells 70 times after her death was announced.

There was impeccable silence as the funeral procession passed through the village.

Scottish farmers paid their respects to the Queen by lining her procession route with dozens of tractors.

The late Queen, pictured beaming in a hot pink coat during a visit to her beloved Ballater in 2021

The late Queen, pictured beaming in a hot pink coat during a visit to her beloved Ballater in 2021

The Monarch sourced her food in Ballater, and entertained a friendly relationship with the local businesses (pictured at the butcher in 2012)

The Monarch sourced her food in Ballater, and entertained a friendly relationship with the local businesses (pictured at the butcher in 2012) 

In 1946, the late Monarch, then Princess Elizabeth, was pictured waiting for the train with Princess Margaret at Ballater train station

In 1946, the late Monarch, then Princess Elizabeth, was pictured waiting for the train with Princess Margaret at Ballater train station 

The guard of honour lined both sides of the road as the cortege passed through the Aberdeenshire countryside on its way to Edinburgh.

Some had their front loaders raised in salute as the Queen’s coffin, draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland and with a wreath of white flowers on top, passed by.

People commented on what a ‘lovely gesture’ it was, with one social media user saying it was a ‘very fitting tribute for a well beloved Queen’. 

Further along in Peterculter people lined up on horseback to pay their respects, an appropriate gesture for Queen Elizabeth who was an avid rider. 

Well-wishers who had waited patiently for the opportunity to pay their respects bowed their heads while others saluted as the hearse drove slowly by.

Afterwards, Margaret MacKenzie, from Inverness, said: ‘It was very dignified. It was nice to see that a lot of people came out to support and pay their respects.’

Elizabeth Taylor, from Aberdeen, had tears in her eyes as she considered what she had just seen.

She said: ‘It was very emotional. It was respectful and showed what they think of the Queen.

‘She certainly gave service to this country, even up until a few days before her death.’

Earlier, the Queen’s oak coffin – draped in the Royal Standard for Scotland –  was carried in the hearse by six of the Balmoral estate’s gamekeepers after they were allowed time to say their last goodbye. 

The wreath is made up of flowers from the Balmoral estate including sweet peas – one of the Queen’s favourite flowers – dahlias, phlox, white heather and pine fir.

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