Dance teacher’s tribute to The Queen

A Highland dancing teacher has paid tribute to the Queen by sharing her memories of meeting and performing for the late monarch.

Fiona Reid of Brandie School of Dancing shared her memories of The Queen.
Fiona Reid of Brandie School of Dancing shared her memories of The Queen.

Fiona Reid of Ballater-based Brandie School of Dancing reflected on her experiences following the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

Three of her pupils were chosen to gift the Royal Family flowers at the Queen’s last visit to the Braemar Gathering in September 2019.

Kaitlin Frew gave a bouquet to the monarch, Amelia Fraser presented posies to the now Queen Consort Camilla while Eilidh Murdoch handed flowers to Autumn Phillips.

The now King Charles III and Peter Phillips were also in the Royal Pavilion and looked on.

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Fiona said: “When teaching in Braemar some of the local children are chosen each year to gift the Queen flowers.

“The dancers were always very nervous but excited at the same time to be chosen.

“It was a real honour.”

The Queen was a patron of the Royal Deeside event and regularly attended the games.

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Fiona herself had danced at the Braemar Gathering on multiple occasions.

She first attended when she was seven years old and returned every year until she turned 21.

While participating in the annual event Fiona found herself dancing for some very special guests.

She said: “I danced as a child numerous times in front of the Queen and the Royal Family.”

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And Fiona even had the chance to speak to the late monarch at an event held at her beloved Balmoral Castle.

She explained: “I met Her Majesty at a garden party some seven years ago and was asked to meet her.

“I was extremely nervous at the thought but knew I would maybe never get another opportunity.

“She was lovely and made me feel quite at ease.

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“We chatted about the highland dancing and where I had classes, and she commented how much she enjoyed seeing them at the gathering.

“She was a wonderful lady who loved this area and will be sadly missed in Royal Deeside.”

Fiona started dancing when she was seven and she was a pupil of the late Bobby Watson until she was 19.

Mr Watson was a World Champion Highland dancer and taught thousands of children to dance over the years.

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The Queen’s late father King George VI had asked for Bobby to instruct children in Braemar and Ballater to keep the tradition alive.

Sadly Bobby died in 1998 at the age of 83.

But inspired by her former teacher and her love for dancing, Fiona decided to set up her own school and the Brandie School of Dancing was established.

The school has been running in Ballater for 22 years now.

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Classes are currently held in Ballater and Aboyne for children aged four years and over.

For further information, visit www.facebook.com/Brandieschoolofdancing