Queen has attended more parish sales than any other person, says kirk chaplain

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The minister of the the Queen’s favourite Scottish church says she has attended more parish sales than any other living person.

The Rev Ken MacKenzie, 62, is the Church of Scotland minister of the Braemar and Crathie parish on Royal Deeside – which the royal family attend on trips to Balmoral, the 55,000 acre estate she owns privately.

Speaking ahead of the platinum jubilee celebrations this weekend, he said: “She has been to more parish summer sales than any other living individual. I don’t know if she ever misses any.

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“If anyone shows a commitment to a local parish, then it is her. She’ll have been to every one in the last 80 years.”

Reverend Ken MacKenzie, minister at Crathie Kirk, says the Queen never misses a church saleReverend Ken MacKenzie, minister at Crathie Kirk, says the Queen never misses a church sale
Reverend Ken MacKenzie, minister at Crathie Kirk, says the Queen never misses a church sale

The Queen has travelled to Balmoral for about 80 years, with the royal family’s association with the area dating back to around 1840 when it was bought by Prince Albert as a gift for Queen Victoria.

Mr MacKenzie believes it is this dedication and interest in the local community that endears her to the people who live there.

“She has a very close involvement with the community.” Mr MacKenzie added. “She will know people as she goes around the estate. She bumps into all sorts of people and she will make a point of asking people about their families.

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“She will often just stop and ask people who have some sort of link with the estate, she will recognise them and ask how things are.”

Mr MacKenzie was appointed as minister of the parish in 2005 following a period of time in Budapest.

He became the Queen’s domestic chaplain in 2007.

While the church is not hosting any events to mark the jubilee, Mr MacKenzie said they have worked closely with the community to ensure the occasion is marked.

Mr MacKenzie said the Queen comes to Balmoral due to the sense of stability it provides. It is also a haven for the royals and has been a favourite bolthole for several generations as they try to escape prying photographers and the pressures of their very public life. Balmoral is also a working estate with managed forestry, farms and shoots.

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He said: “She’s been coming for here all her life. Seventy years itself is a long time.

“By the time she was at the coronation 70 years ago, she already was familiar with this parish. It is a place that she knows well and has come to every year and sees it as a place where she can rest and relax and reflect, and just as we have been able to reflect on her long life and long service.”

Mr MacKenzie praised the Queen for being a “constant” over her reign.

“This is a parish where not much has changed in some ways.

“She comes here, in part because she can she can see things that are familiar and are solid have been around for a while.”

Mr MacKenzie added: “All sorts of things have changed. But she has been a constant and there’s something rather special about that.

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