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Queen Elizabeth reportedly “knew” before her death last Thursday that she did not have much more time left, according to one renowned royal expert.

Queen ‘Knew’ She Didn’t Have Long

According to Vanity Fair’s royal correspondent Katie Nicholl, the Queen “knew she wasn’t going to come back [to Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace],” adding, “I think she wanted to be in Balmoral and she wanted to pass there.” She went on to say that Her Majesty could just be a “mother, grandmother and great-grandmother there” and “leave her crown at the gates,” according to Daily Mail

Nicholl made the claim during a conversation with television host Huw Edwards, who asserted, “The Queen, with serious health issues, decided nonetheless that she did want to spend a good deal of time at Balmoral during the summer.”

“That decision speaks volumes really about the fact that she was A) very comfortable to be in Balmoral, somewhere where she was happy to be with lots of good memories, but knowing too, with health issues and the challenges there, it might be a difficult stay and yet she insisted on making the journey,” he added.

Addressing the presenter’s comments, Nicholl replied, “She insisted on making the journey and I think, she was the Queen of Scots and I think she wanted this to be part of her homecoming, her ultimate homecoming,” adding that it was “deeply moving” to see the Queen leaving Balmoral in her coffin, “knowing that she would never return to the place where she’d enjoyed holidays as a little girl.”

“I think Balmoral was the one place where she could actually leave her crown at the gates and be a different role, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother,” the royal correspondent continued. “I actually think there’s a bit of her that knew she wasn’t going to come back, I think she wanted to be in Balmoral and she wanted to pass there. And the fact that she did peacefully is actually a blessing in all of this.”

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Queen Loved Balmoral

Balmoral was also a favorite place of Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband of 73 years who died last year at the age of 99.

The entire royal family was aware of how much the Queen loved Balmoral, with her granddaughter Princess Eugenie saying in 2016 that “it’s the most beautiful place on earth. I think Granny is most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands.”

“Walks, picnics, dogs – a lot of dogs, there’s always dogs – and people coming in and out all the time,” Eugenie continued. “It’s a lovely base for Granny and Grandpa, for us to come and see them up there, where you just have room to breathe and run.”

Queen’s Children Speak Out

Princess Anne, the Queen’s daughter, had previously said that Balmoral included some of her mother’s favorite things like “the countryside, the dogs, the horses and just being out and about and being able to get away a bit from that public gaze.”

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“The happiest times inevitably that we’d spend together would be on holidays, so Balmoral and Sandringham stand out very, very clearly as favorite places,” added Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest child.

The Queen died “peacefully” at Balmoral last Thursday at the age of 96, sending billions of people from all over the world into mourning for her. While she will be dearly missed for the rest of time, we can all find comfort in the fact that she passed on at one of her favorite places on earth.

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