By Guillermo Garrido and Viviana García
Balmoral/Edinburgh, Sep 9 (EFE).- Tucked away in a remote natural park in the north of Scotland, Balmoral Castle, traditionally Queen Elizabeth II’s summer residence, has taken on new symbolism.
The estate, surrounded by the lush nature of the Cairngorms and bathed by the River Dee, is where the queen died on Thursday at the age of 96.
A day after Elizabeth’s death, local residents from nearby villages are visiting the estate to bid farewell and pay their respects to the monarch.
Some can barely utter a word without breaking into tears while others have mixed feelings about the end of an era.
“It was quite unexpected to hear that she died, quite upsetting actually, I was crying and was upset,” Carly McGregor, a local resident, tells Efe.
“Mixed feelings though, because it is sad, but we will have a new king very soon,” she adds.
“I’m glad she passed here at Balmoral because I think she was more than happy here,” Carly’s husband, Donald McGregor, says.
Fellow local resident, Mary Arklas, who came to the castle to pay her respects accompanied by her daughter, said she was “honored” that Elizabeth was in Scotland at the time of her death.
Also approaching the estate were Nigerian couple Joy and Chris Ojobi, who expressed their deep respect for the queen.
“Her service, her dedication to duty, her love, she brought the Commonwealth together, we were under this umbrella of her motherhood,” Joy Ojobi tells Efe.
“There is no end to a legacy that she has left, it just grows and grows more and more.
“We respect her today and always,” she adds.
Meanwhile, supporters of the monarchy and tourists flocked the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh to lay flowers and cards outside the royal residence.
Among the tourists paying their respects to the queen is Chilean Ana Maria, who describes Elizabeth’s service to her country as “marvelous.”
Edinburgh is preparing for the arrival of Elizabeth’s coffin at Holyroodhouse, where it will remain for several hours before being taken to St Giles’ Cathedral in the old city. EFE