Queen Mother's actions at Margaret's funeral revealed by insider
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After King George VI died in 1952, the Queen Mother visited friends in Scotland as she grappled with her new royal role and the accession of her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II. During this visit, she encountered Barrogill Castle and decided to purchase it from Captain F B Imbert-Terry. The fortress required significant renovation, but the castle and its gardens would prove to be a source of great pride for the Queen Mother for decades to follow.
Getting to work restoring the castle, the site would see the additions of electricity and water supplies for the very first time.
The home was also extensively redecorated, and the castle walls benefited from the addition of several portraits of previous owners.
The Castle of Mey website explains: “Despite its poor condition, Her Majesty purchased the castle that year and set about renovating and restoring both the castle and its gardens and parklands, which extended to about 30 acres.
“She also restored the castle’s original name changing Barrogill Castle back to The Castle of Mey.”
The castle was first built in the 16th Century and it has had several owners over the years.
The Castle of Mey is located on the northern coast of Scotland in Caithness, and it is situated about six miles west of John o’Groats.
The castle is nearby to the sea, so the Orkney Islands and Pentland Firth can be seen.
The Queen Mother would spend three weeks at her Scottish castle in August, and she spent a stint in October there every year.
The Queen Mother was known to adore Scotland, and through the Bowes-Lyon family, she had strong aristocratic links to the country.
Her family’s ancestral seat was Glamis Castle in Angus, and it was the site where the Queen Mother welcomed her second child Princess Margaret in 1930.
As a member of the Royal Family, the Queen Mother greatly enjoyed visiting the royal Balmoral Estate too and would reside at Birkhall during her widowhood.
A fictionalised account of the Queen Mother’s purchase of the Castle of Mey was played out in the first series of the hit Netflix drama, The Crown.
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Since the Queen Mother died in 2002, the Castle of Mey remains a special place in the heart of her grandson, Prince Charles, and it is now part of The Prince’s Foundation.
The Castle of Mey’s grounds is now home to the Granary Lodge, a 10-bedroom bed and breakfast.
There is also an animal centre and tearoom, and guests are invited to tour the castle and its impressive gardens.
The Castle of Mey also serves as a wedding venue.
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