The Queen is said to have had a £20,000 ‘wheelchair friendly’ lift installed in her Balmoral cottage to help her upstairs, according to reports. The 95-year-old monarch is expected to spend more time on the Scottish estate as she contemplates a future with fewer official royal commitments.
The Times reports that the seven-bedroom Craigowan Lodge in the Scottish Highlands has been fitted with a lift and additional security, including a stronger door, a more modern intercom system and additional CCTV cameras.
The lift is included as a Stiltz Trio, which can accommodate up to three adults. The plans have been sent to the local council for approval, the Times said.
The cottage, about a mile from the main castle, is considered one of the Queen’s favorite places, with the new lift and added security allowing her to spend more time there. She usually stays at the cabin twice a year, in April and during the summer months.
The cottage was a favorite of the Duke of Edinburgh, who stayed there with the Queen during their annual summer holidays. It was also used by Prince Charles and Princess Diana while the newlyweds were on their honeymoon in 1981.
The Queen was recently photographed using a cane. Last month, in video of a meeting with two defense chiefs, she joked, “Well, as you can see, I can’t move.” Last week she was forced to miss the Commonwealth Day service due to concerns for her comfort during the journey from Windsor Castle, which has become her permanent home.
James Anderson, chairman of Ballater and Crathie Community Council, told The Sun that locals would be happy to see more of the Queen. Buckingham Palace declined to comment.