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The Queen at 90: A Childhood in Scotland

The Queen would become well known for her love of dogs, and as this picture of her aged 12 at Glamis shows, she has been a fan since childhood.
The Queen would become well known for her love of dogs, and as this picture of her aged 12 at Glamis shows, she has been a fan since childhood.

When she was born she was delivered by a Scottish nurse – Nurse Barrie – and since then she has been making regular visits north of the border.

As these photographs show, her childhood trips to Scotland were very happy ones.

In the grounds of Elsick House to celebrate Lord Carnegie’s birthday party (DC Thomson)
In the grounds of Elsick House to celebrate Lord Carnegie’s birthday party (DC Thomson)
Wrapped up for a Scottish day out with her grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary (DC Thomson)
Wrapped up for a Scottish day out with her grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary (DC Thomson)

While there were official visits with her parents to factories and workplaces, she was often to be seen with a smile on her face dressed in a plaid skirt, enjoying the
fabulous countryside.

One of her earliest public enagements was at a vast reception at Glamis Castle, childhood home of her mother, in 1928.

There she was described by a Sunday Post correspondent as a “lovely child with the fairest of complexions and the bluest of eyes”.

The young Princess enjoys the Scottish countryside with her family (DC Thomson)
The young Princess enjoys the Scottish countryside with her family (DC Thomson)
Elizabeth with her mother and sister in Lord Robert’s workshop, Dundee (DC Thomson)
Elizabeth with her mother and sister in Lord Robert’s workshop, Dundee (DC Thomson)

He laters describes how “the last the 1600 guests saw of the Princess was a baby hand waving them farewell from a bedroom window”.

In 1931, at the age of five, she was delighted to be given her own car while staying at Glamis!

Of course, it was a small motorised version, but she was still able to drive it after a driving lesson from her father the Duke of York, and apparently spent “a happy day proudly driving about in her own car beside the castle”.

Princess Elizabeth sits up as she is pushed in a pram by an unknown woman in the grounds of Glamis (DC Thomson)
Princess Elizabeth sits up as she is pushed in a pram by an unknown woman in the grounds of Glamis (DC Thomson)
Princess Elizabeth is clearly enjoying the sound of the big bass drum during a visit to Scotland in 1929 (DC Thomson)
Princess Elizabeth is clearly enjoying the sound of the big bass drum during a visit to Scotland in 1929 (DC Thomson)
Already showing leadership qualities, the young Princess Elizabeth (centre) takes charge of childhood friends at Elsick House, Newtonhill, near Stonehaven, in 1935 (AJL)
Already showing leadership qualities, the young Princess Elizabeth (centre) takes charge of childhood friends at Elsick House, Newtonhill, near Stonehaven, in 1935 (AJL)

If one had been out on the roads a few years later one might have passed the young Princess on Highland roads in a slightly bigger car.

A report from October 13, 1935, describes how the nine-year-old Elizabeth, along with her mother and little sister Margaret “motored from Birkhall to Glamis”.

Quite a sight for the day-tripping motorists of the day!