Tributes to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II pour in from the Scottish Borders

The Queen unveiled the plaque celebrating the official opening of the Borders Railway in 2015.The Queen unveiled the plaque celebrating the official opening of the Borders Railway in 2015.
The Queen unveiled the plaque celebrating the official opening of the Borders Railway in 2015.
The death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has been marked across the Scottish Borders with tributes and memories shared.

The death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has been marked across the Scottish Borders with tributes and memories shared.

The 70-year reign of the 96-year-old monarch ended yesterday, Thursday, September 8, when she died at her Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire.

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And as her son Charles 111 begins his reign the legacy The Queen has left behind and the impact she has had on countless lives has been remembered and celebrated.

Her Majesty visited the Borders on a number of occasions, perhaps most memorably in 2015 when she officially opened the Borders Railway at Tweedbank.

That day – September 9 – was a momentous date for The Queen as it marked the day on which she became Britain’s longest-serving monarch, usurping Queen Victoria.

The convenor of Scottish Borders Council, Councillor Watson McAteer, led the authority’s tributes as it was announced that an online Book of Condolence would soon be made available at www.royal.uk

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Mr McAteer said his thoughts, and those of many Borderers, were with the Royal family “as they grieve the loss of a mother, grandmother and a great-grandmother.”

He added: “The death of Her Majesty is an extremely sad day for the Scottish Borders and the nation as a whole. She has led this country with grace and distinction for 70 years and has been the ultimate ambassador for Great Britain.

“On behalf of the people of the Scottish Borders, I will be writing to the Royal Family expressing our deep sorrow on the death of Her Majesty.

“It was a great honour and a privilege for Scottish Borders to host Her Majesty for the official opening of the Borders Railway on the day she became our longest reigning monarch, and it is a memory many thousands who were there at Tweedbank will cherish.

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“Of course, Her Majesty visited the area on may occasions over the years, and will have touched the lives of many people during her reign, from those she met during Royal visits to those who were bestowed with honours.”

Conservative Borders MP John Lamont added his tribute, saying: “Her Majesty The Queen has been a steadfast and resolute part of public life over her illustrious seventy year reign.”

The MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, added: “In times of difficulty, we looked to Her Majesty for guidance and leadership and were never left wanting.”

In his statement, David Mundell, Conservative MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, said: “Her unstinting and unwavering service through good times and bad was an inspiration to so many of us at home and abroad. She was at all times a faultless ambassador for our country.”

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The Queen’s long association with the Borders goes back to when she was still heir to the throne.

Back in 1945 she paid a memorable visit to Hawick.

The visit is recalled in Oliver Lindsay’s book ‘Once a Grenadier’, in which he writes: “It could not have been easy for Princess Elizabeth, at Hawick in 1945, attending a Regimental All Ranks dance which was held at the local Drill Hall.

“Detective Sergeant R.E. Butler visited all the breweries and distilleries in Scotland and spun them a long story that whisky had to be provided due to the presence of the princess.

“They were all most generous and crates appeared on the big night. The evening was a resounding success, except for the caretaker who tried to close the hall at 10pm – he was thrown into a nearby river.”

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In 1947, the then Princess Elizabeth was with her mother and father, King George V1, on a visit to the area. She was also accompanied on that occasion by Philip Mountbatten, the man she would marry later that year.

Further visits followed in 1975, 1966, when she stopped off at Stow Railway Station, and in 1988, which included a stop-over in Peebles, and in the Spring of 2002, as part of her nationwide Golden Jubilee tour.

Hard copy books of condolence will also be available at libraries and contact centres across the Borders in the coming days, the council has confirmed.