Balmoral was often referred to as the Queen’s favourite place, and it has been said that she was never happier when staying there.
Just two days prior she had formally appointed Liz Truss as Prime Minister at the castle.
On Thursday after it was announced she was under medical supervision, wellwishers gathered at the entrance to the castle, as did crowds of TV crews and members of the media.
On an incredibly rainy afternoon people waited for news and watched as the car carrying the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Andrew, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex drove past and went through the open gates.
When news filtered through that the Queen had died, there was an air of shock.
‘She’s been part of our lives’
Among those who had made the journey to Balmoral having been in the area were Luna and Stewart McNiven, from Glenshee.
Luna, 48, said: “It was expected, but at the same time still a shock. She’s been part our lives since before she was a monarch, since before we were born, she was a monarch before my mum was born.
“It’s really nice that she passed away in Scotland and to have been in one of her favourite places.”
Speaking of the impact the Queen’s death would have on the royal family she said: “I don’t think they’ll know what’s hit them, she’s kept the family together for so long.”
‘I’m still trying to take it in’
Jane and John Townsley from Aberdeen were also among those outside Balmoral. Jane said: “We didn’t know until we got up to the park and people at the front told us she had just passed away. It’s sad.”
While John added: “It’s a shame for the family. I’m still trying to take it in.”
As the evening progressed more mourners appeared at Balmoral with floral tributes being left.
Meanwhile, councillor for Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside, Geva Blackett, paid tribute to the Queen, and highlighted her affinity with the area.
Posting on Facebook she said: “She was simply one of the most remarkable people ever to have lived and gave her life to the service of this country. Here in Royal Deeside was where she was able to enjoy freedom and relax, she was among friends. She will be missed the world over and my thoughts are with her family tonight.”
‘She is like a mother’
On Friday (9 September), members of the public flocked to the gates of Balmoral to lay their tributes to the late monarch.
A Park & Ride facility was organised by Aberdeenshire Council with members of the public urged to use it.
Wendy Whyte, 52, from Portlethen, in the Aberdeen area, was among those paying tribute to the Queen.
She described her death as “overwhelming”
Wendy said:”We were told she was very unwell then she passed away. We didn’t have time to process it.
“Since we were born this is what we know - the Queen.
“It’s really sad.”
Speaking of what she thought her legacy would be Wendy said: “amazing”.
She added that as a Christian she felt the loss given the Queen was so strong in her faith.
Wendy said:”My tribute is I’ve lost a sister in Christ.”
Speaking as people continued to flick to Balmoral to pay tribute Wendy added:”Everyone is here for that one person. Right across the world we’ve got people to who this lady meant a lot.”
Anne-Marie Karsdorp was also paying tribute. From the Netherlands she is currently on holiday in Scotland.
She said: “It was a shock.
“I’m from the Netherlands, so she is not my Queen. She is like a mother, a grandmother.”
‘She was the boss’
Ian Riches, 64, made the journey from his home just north of Perth.
He said:”I was in the Royal Navy and had the privilege of meeting her on a number of occasions.”
Ian described the late Queen as”inspiring”.
He said:”She was the boss. In that respect it’s a huge wrench. I don’t think I have fully processed it.”
He said it felt like the “natural thing to do” to travel to Balmoral to pay tribute.
He added:”I think it’s going to help.”