Queen Elizabeth II dies: The Queen's private side and why she was like 'a very posh granny'

Former Scottish Parliament presiding officer Ken Macintosh has told how the Queen’s private side was “quite different” from her public persona – and how he described her to schoolchildren as “a very posh granny”.
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Mr Macintosh, who met the Queen on numerous occasions including her visits to the parliament, said: “She was quite a serious person in public, in Scotland we might even say she was quite dour. In private she was charming, she was informed, she was very switched on. The thing that struck me most was how smiley she was, how warm she was.

“Even as presiding officer, it’s quite daunting meeting the Queen. I can’t tell you how easy it was to speak to her, how relaxed she was."

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In a radio interview, he continued: “When you go in to speak to kids in schools they ask you these questions, ‘Have you met the Queen, what’s she like?’ I used to say she’s like a very posh granny. She was a lovely person, very warm, very easy to make laugh, to smile. She was the easiest person to talk to.”

And he spoke of the strong partnership between the Queen and her husband when they made joint visits.

Mr Macintosh said Prince Philip was "more boisterous” and recalled a visit when the two deputy presiding officers were looking after the prince. “They were having a whale of a time, laughing and joking. The Queen didn’t exactly roll her eyes and tut tut, but you could see that amused tolerance that is so recognisable in every long relationship between couples.”

All parliamentary business at Holyrood has been suspended as a mark of respect and there is no public access to the Scottish Parliament building until further notice.

The Queen addresses the Scottish Parliament alongside the then presiding officer Ken Macintosh.The Queen addresses the Scottish Parliament alongside the then presiding officer Ken Macintosh.
The Queen addresses the Scottish Parliament alongside the then presiding officer Ken Macintosh.
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Presiding officer Alison Johnstone offered the parliament’s "deepest and most sincere condolences” to King Charles III and the Royal Family following the Queen’s death.

She said: “The Queen was an extraordinary woman, who led an extraordinary life of service. From the day that this Parliament was established in 1999, Her Majesty showed her unwavering support for the institution and the time and importance she gave to that relationship is hugely appreciated.”

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