Jackie Stewart tearfully recalls Queens love for special Scotland

Queen Elizabeth II: Jackie Stewart gets emotional during tribute

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Former F1 champion Sir Jackie Stewart fought back tears as he reflected on his relationship with Queen Elizabeth II during an interview with Jon Kay on Tuesday’s BBC Breakfast. The Scotsman shared how much the late monarch adored Balmoral and revealed Scotland “was her complete home” as her coffin was at rest in St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh. 

Mourners have been turning up in their thousands to pay respects to the Queen in Edinburgh where Jon was reporting from on Tuesday morning. 

During the coverage, he interviewed her close friend Sir Jackie who revealed how much the Queen’s death has impacted him and his country. 

He was due to meet with the 96-year-old sovereign on Tuesday morning in Balmoral and is still coming to terms with her death. 

The Queen, who reigned for 70 years on the British throne, died on Thursday in Balmoral Castle with her loved ones by her side after her health took a turn that morning. 

Sir Jackie, who was in Buckinghamshire, tearfully told BBC viewers: “She was the most impressive lady I have ever known in the world. 

“The loss of Her Majesty [has had] one of the most amazing reactions I’ve ever seen in my life.”

He continued: “It was a blessing in a sense because I was supposed to be in Balmoral today, as a matter of fact, with the Queen and I was with her very recently.”

The F1 star said the monarch was in great form except having some mobility issues, adding that she was still as “sharp as a needle”.

The Scottish driver added: “To die in Scotland was something very special because Balmoral was her favourite place in the world. 

“The way that Scotland responded, the whole country is in mourning. 

“To have Her Majesty driven with The Princess Royal in the car behind with her husband, which must be a very emotional experience, I just think it was fantastic to Scotland. The whole country has responded so positively.”

The 83-year-old continued: “She was living in Windsor Castle for a great amount of time recently but I think for her to go to Balmoral, she was looking forward to it enormously.”

“She loved Balmoral,” he added. “When she went to Scotland that was her home, her complete home.”

He thought she passed away “quietly and comfortable” as she was in Balmoral. 

Balmoral Castle is a large estate house in Aberdeenshire set on 50,000 acres of land and is where the Queen would spend her summers growing up. 

Reflecting on the Queen’s death, Sir Jackie added: “I was as emotional as I have ever been.”

“I’ve had more emotion from the loss of Her Majesty than I think I have ever had of [my friends dying].

“The loss of Her Majesty is something which will never be forgotten.” 

The Queen’s funeral will be held on Monday in Westminster Abbey. 

BBC Breakfast continues daily on BBC One from 6am.

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