As they made their debut in Forfar as the area’s new Earl and Countess, Edward and Sophie got a reminder of the long royal links with the area. As they toured the town, they were shown the entry in church records marking the confirmation of the Earl’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
The archive was on display in St. John’s Episcopal Church in Forfar where the then Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon made her confirmation over 100 years ago. The woman who ended up a queen consort and an empress is recorded, simply, as ‘Elizabeth Angela Marguerite’ alongside her family name in the document which is dated November 5th 1916. She was sixteen years old at the time of her confirmation.
Her residence is given as Glamis Castle, the ancient family home of the Lyon family which, during World War One, was used as a hospital for wounded and recovering soldiers.
The Earl and Countess of Forfar were shown the entry as they visited the church during their first day in the town. They became Earl and Countess of Forfar in March this year when the Queen bestowed the title on her youngest son on his 55th birthday.
St. John’s Episcopal Church was a relatively new building when the Queen Mother was confirmed there. It was consecrated in 1881 having been designed by Sir R Rowland Anderson.
Edward and Sophie’s first day in Forfar also saw them meet many local people who had come along to wish them well. There were big crowds for the couple who met one of Forfar’s oldest residents, 101 year old May Balfour, as well as some of its youngest inhabitants. Sophie also tried the famous local delicacy, the bridie, which is made of meat and pastry and visited the Guide Dogs Association Scotland. The couple also watched a display of traditional Scottish dancing.