queen-ill

The Queen shocked as close friend, 81, suffers nasty accident at Balmoral

The incident happened a few days ago, according to reports

Fiona Ward

The Queen has been left shocked after one of her close friends and ladies-in-waiting suffered a nasty fall at Balmoral, according to a report from the Daily Mail. The publication's royal correspondent Rebecca English has shared that The Honourable Mary Morrison was accompanying the Queen to a cocktail party when she lost her footing and fell down a flight of stairs, narrowly missing the monarch. Mary was taken straight to hospital in Aberdeen, where it was found she had broken her ankle.

The Queen and her lady-in-waiting Mary Morrison. Image: Getty

The 81-year-old is one of the Queen's most senior ladies-in-waiting, having been by her side for almost 60 years. She reportedly insisted on returning to the castle despite her injury, and is now using crutches to get about as she remains with Her Majesty during the final few weeks of her summer break.

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The Queen is thought to have a very close relationship with Mary, who has been with her at the palace since 1960. In June 2013, she made her long-serving companion - along with another lady-in-waiting, Lady Susan Hussey - Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in her annual birthday honours. This is the highest order of chivalry that the Queen gives personally, and only goes to those that have served the Queen or the monarchy in a specific way.

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Despite this, Mary apparently refuses to use her title of 'Dame', and instead prefers 'The Honourable Mary Morrison', a title inherited from her father. Back in 2010, she was also involved in another accident at Windsor Castle, whilst driving into work – resulting in her car getting stuck on rising metal bollards. A palace spokesperson said at the time: "The car was a complete write-off. She bruised her ribcage, but was otherwise unhurt."

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