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YOUR VIEWS: Lovely memories of late Queen's visit to Culloden

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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

Readers' take on their memories of the late Queen

I have a special memory from Her Majesty’s historic visit to Culloden Battlefield on June 29, 2009.

Working as a mobile membership and customer service adviser for the National Trust for Scotland, I was asked to help out at the new Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre for

the visit by Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh – the first visit to the battlefield site by a reigning British monarch. It was

an honour to be there that day and to witness the royal tour of the centre and the unveiling of the plaque in the entrance hall by the Queen.

The royal couple toured the new centre, which had opened the previous year, and were shown round the much admired exhibition area including the submersive theatre and the informative corridors which take visitors on a virtual journey through the Jacobite Uprising of 1745/46 and ending with the famous battle.

I was standing alone in the section of the entrance hall of

the centre – that is the corridor leading into the exhibition; on “meet and greet” duties as people began their 18th-century Jacobite versus government forces journey. The flow of royal and other visitors through the corridor had almost stopped, when suddenly an elderly lady in a blue coat and hat came slowly out of the darker interior of the corridor. For an instant she reminded me of my late grandmother, same height and stature and with a lovely smile. I must have been smiling in a friendly way but as I did not immediately recognise that the lady was (yes, you guessed it) our gracious Queen, I didn’t bow my head or any other part of me, like you’re supposed to. Her Majesty walked quite slowly past me, still smiling at me, rejoining the Duke and others in their party.

The whole visit went very well, the royal couple obviously had prior knowledge of the history and significance of their visit and showed great interest in everything to do with the exhibition and new visitor centre.

They were met and welcomed to Culloden by the then Lord Lieutenant of Inverness-shire, Donald Angus Cameron, 27th

Lord of Lochiel, a descendant of Donald Cameron, 3rd Lord of Lochiel and a loyal supporter of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, claimant to the British throne in 1746 at the Battle of Culloden. An ironic fact related to Queen Elizabeth’s visit in 2009.

For all who were at Culloden for the royal visit, it was a memorable occasion and for me, that lovely smile and the aura that the Queen generated around her, has stayed with me to this day.

With best wishes to all colleagues and others who may have been at Culloden that day.

Keith Coulman

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