Minister of church at Balmoral says Philip will be remembered with affection

Douglas Barrie, PA Scotland
·2-min read

The minister of the church used by the royal family when at Balmoral Castle has expressed the community’s sadness at the Duke of Edinburgh’s death.

Reverend Kenneth MacKenzie is the minister of the Parish of Braemar and Crathie and domestic chaplain to the Queen, who visits the church for Sunday services when staying at the castle with members of her family including Prince Philip.

They were previously in the area last summer during lockdown, but had not returned due to recent restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Rev Mackenzie, minister of the parish since 2005, told the PA news agency how highly regarded Philip’s work and interest in the community was.

He said: “I think up here there are lots of people who have had the opportunity over the years to see the duke around and he’s so much part of this place.

“Everybody has favourite memories of the duke, he was just a very interesting man and took a real interest in this area.

“He knew a lot of people and a lot of families who have multi-generational interest in this area so some folk he knew not just their parents but grandparents.

“Everyone will remember him with respect but also a degree of affection, he was really highly thought of around here.”

The reverend admitted the Covid-19 pandemic had caused “difficult times for everybody” including the royal family.

Flowers have been left outside the gates of Balmoral Castle (Douglas Barrie/PA)

However, he added: “Until very recently the duke was going out and about when he would come up.

“Through the late summer and the autumn he would be getting around the estate and take an interest on what was going on.

“He’s known to be someone who was sharp-witted and very funny but he was a thinking man and had a lot of ideas about how best to look after this part of the world, it’s a beautiful area.

“He was part of that family for all those years and it was such a dutiful role that he played that he was as involved in this community in some ways as almost anybody else and that family’s been involved for many generations in this place.

“A lot of what goes on around here is testimony to some of his thinking.”

Flowers at the gates of Balmoral Castle
Flowers at the gates of Balmoral Castle (Jane Barlow/PA)

Flowers were left outside the gates of Balmoral Castle on the day of the duke’s death.

One bunch was wrapped in brown paper with the words “May you rest in peace Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh. Thank you for your legacy” written on.

Another bunch came with a card, with the message inside reading: “With deepest sympathy of ours and your very sad loss.

“All our thoughts and those of the people of Edinburgh School, B.F.P.O. 17, who took part in the Duke’s award in the 1970s.”