5 April 2002

Special Royal with

a love of all things rural

As the farming industry

joined the nation in

mourning the death of the

Queen Mother,

Mike Stones looks back

over her long lifetime of

countryside connections

THE Queen Mothers links with farming stretching back to World War I have been remembered with affection by those who knew her.

Memories of her passion for Aberdeen Angus cattle and North Country Cheviot sheep and her ability to communicate at all levels were singled out for particular praise.

Empathy

"We were honoured to have her as patron for close on 65 years," said Ron McHattie, chief executive of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society. "She always showed great empathy with our membership. Not only did she have a deep and genuine interest in the Aberdeen Angus breed and a good eye for stock, Her Majesty also knew many of the breeders."

Martin Leslie, the Queen Mothers factor at the Castle of Mey, said: "I shall remember her great enthusiasm for livestock – particularly Aberdeen Angus cattle, North Country Cheviot sheep, horses and dogs. She had an affinity with her stock and enjoyed walking around them with the McCartney family who looked after them. The Queen Mother greatly appreciated their dedication and their ability with stock."

Former chief executive of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society, Ben Coutts praised the Queen Mothers stockmanship: "The Queen Mother always enquired after certain animals and always knew a good one from a bad one which is the essential point of stockmanship. She had a wonderful sense of humour, she loved people and got on well with all stockmen."

It was her love of stock and people which underlined her commitment to the Royal Smithfield Show, according to former show director Mark Bellamy. "I shall always remember her extreme graciousness and love of agriculture and outdoor things.

"I have an old photograph of her visiting the show with her husband at the Royal Agricultural Hall at Islington in 1937. In over 34 years at Smithfield Ive seen her up to 20 times and she would always make a point of visiting her Aberdeen Angus cattle entered in the show."

farmers weekly Editor Stephen Howe highlighted the Queen Mothers commitment to farming and country people. "I shall never forget the Queen Mothers great knowledge of the industry, her commitment to rural interests and her ability to engage in conversation with anyone connected with the farming industry. She was a loyal supporter of the Royal Smithfield Show and her enthusiasm will be sadly missed." &#42

INREMEMBRANCE

"We were honoured to have her as patron for close on 65 years."

Ron McHattie, chief executive of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society.

"I shall remember her great enthusiasm for livestock – particularly Aberdeen Angus cattle, North Country Cheviot sheep, horses and dogs."

Martin Leslie, factor at the Castle of Mey.

"The Queen Mother always enquired after certain animals and always knew a good one from a bad one."

Ben Coutts, former chief executive of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society.

"I shall always remember her extreme graciousness and love of agriculture and outdoor things."

Mark Bellamy, former show director Royal Smithfield Show.

IN MOURNING

Ten days of mourning were declared after the Queen Mothers death on Saturday. The Queen Mothers body will lie in state in Westminster Hall, London from Friday Apr 5. The funeral will take place on Tue, Apr 9 at Westminster Abbey before the interment alongside her husband King George VI.