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The Voice of the North: A time to remember The Queen – and to celebrate region’s special links to King

One year on from the Queen's death, those of us across the north and north-east should be grateful King Charles has continued her dedication to the region.

Mourners line the route of the Queen's cortege in Aberdeenshire
The death of the Queen was a time of sadness for many in the north-east. Image: Wullie Marr/DC Thomson

Anniversaries provide for us all the perfect chance to reflect on the most important moments in our life.

Whether moments of sad reflection or joyful celebration, they are annual reminders of how far we have come.

Friday, September 8, marks the first anniversary of the death of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

People left flowers at Balmoral on today’s anniversary of the death. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

The milestone has, for many, brought back the emotions they felt as they lived through this poignant moment in history.

Some have chosen to mark it by leaving flowers at the royal family’s beloved Balmoral Castle.

Others will look back at a surreal weekend.

Certainly, in the north-east, thousands will remember how they lined up to bid The Queen a final farewell as her hearse passed through the region.

A hush in the air as the hearse passed Ballater on Sunday, September 11, 2022. Image: Wullie Marr/DC Thomson

Others might reflect on where we were at the time – and how their own lives have changed since.

King Charles observed sad anniversary in Aberdeenshire

But it’s important to spare a thought for King Charles in all this, for it must invoke in him a mixture of emotions.

The milestone has brought a renewal of nationwide reminiscing, another outpouring of tributes, and the sight of his mother’s face once again adorning newspaper front pages as people pause to remember this moment in history.

The King with his mother at the Braemar Gathering.

At the same time, the anniversary of any bereavement can be hard for loved ones.

And perhaps there has been some comfort in spending the day at the Aberdeenshire retreat which the late monarch adored so much.

On Friday morning, King Charles III and Queen Camilla met local schoolchildren as they left a special service at Crathie Kirk.

Poignant scenes as children marked the anniversary of the death of The Queen. Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

This is also, of course, the anniversary of his ascension.

And it’s a chance for those of us in the north and north-east to give thanks not only to The Queen – but to her son for continuing those ever-important royal ties to our part of the world.

Let’s not forget, without Charles – and his desire to pay tribute to his grandmother – the Castle of Mey in Caithness would not be the tourist attraction it is today.

King Charles officially opened the Granary Accommodation at the Castle of Mey on a trip to the far north. Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Let’s be glad of the traditions King Charles is keeping alive

This summer, he took time out to make a surprise first appearance at the Lonach Gathering in rural Donside.

The following weekend, he took his mum’s cherished spot in the royal box as he traditional spectacle of the Braemar Gathering.

The monarch with his sister and wife at the event, which happened just days before the anniversary of the death of the Queen. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Tourists from far and wide attended, pumping thousands into the local economy in their bid to catch a glimpse of royalty.

This is just one of many ways the north and north-east visitor industry has been boosted by the royals’ commitment to the area.

Hours later, Charles welcomed Rishi Sunak to Balmoral. Another tradition dating back through the generations kept up, placing key talks on our doorstep.

Rishi Sunak Crathie Kirk Balmoral
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrives at Crathie Kirk. Image: PA

The following morning, Sunak joined the family at Crathie Kirk, the same place of worship Queen Victoria attended after falling in love with the romance of the Highlands.

Who knows what lies ahead for the monarchy.

We do know King Charles is not destined to reign over us for as long as his history-making mother.

But while he wears the crown we should cherish the traditions he has kept alive, particularly those that shine a light on our special part of the world.

To mark the anniversary of the death of The Queen we have created a special section on our website, which you can see here.

The Voice of the North is The Press & Journal’s editorial stance on what we think are the most important news stories