Why King Charles Just Returned To The Place Queen Elizabeth Died

Queen Elizabeth II was at her Balmoral estate in Scotland when she fell ill and passed away at the age of 96. While senior members of the royal family raced to be by her side, only Prince Charles (now King Charles III) and Princess Anne were able to make it before she died, People reported. "We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother," Charles said in his first address as king, per BBC. "I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world."

There was some solace that the queen passed at one of her favorite places. The late monarch called Balmoral "my dear paradise in the highlands," according to Marie Claire. It is the place where she got to spend private time with her children and grandchildren while taking time off from her official duties. "It's the most beautiful place on Earth. I think Granny is the most happy there, I think she really, really loves the Highlands . . . walks, picnics, dogs, a lot of dogs, there's always dogs, and people coming in and out all the time," the queen's granddaughter, Princess Eugenie, revealed in ITV's documentary "Our Queen at 90" (via The Mirror).

And now Charles has returned to the estate for the first time since his mother's death to thank some special people.

King Charles returned to Balmoral to thank the queen's soldiers

King Charles III made a return to Balmoral after the heartbreaking death of Queen Elizabeth II. The estate was closed so that the monarch could personally thank the soldiers who guarded the queen before her passing, as well as gave her an emotional sendoff as her casket left the castle for London. "The King wanted to say thank you in person," a courtier told the Daily Mail. "He is very grateful for the effort everyone put in before and after Her Majesty's death."

There has been speculation that King Charles has some major plans for Balmoral, with sources telling the Daily Mail that he wants to turn the castle into a museum open to the public. The venue would be a tribute to Queen Elizabeth's seven-decade reign as monarch, featuring outfits worn for significant moments during her reign, as well as jewelry belonging to the royal family. The museum would allegedly draw "tens of thousands of visitors to pay a tribute to the Queen in the Highlands home where she spent her final days."

As for the queen's other beloved castle — Windsor — sources have said that Charles would like Prince William and Catherine Middleton, Prince and Princess of Wales, to move in with their three children. The couple, however, is delaying the move for now so that their kids have time to adjust to their new school, per Cosmopolitan.