From chains to Balmoral: Former hostage Terry Waite tells how the Queen helped his recovery

Former hostage Terry Waite Credit: ITV Anglia

The former hostage Terry Waite, who was held captive in Lebanon for more than 4 years has revealed how the Queen helped him to recover from his ordeal.

The former envoy was chained and held in solitary confinement from 1987 to 1991.

Only now has he revealed what happened when he was released and the Queen's extraordinary generosity towards him.

Talking about just after his release Mr Waite said: "I got into a helicopter and flew across Scotland and landed on the lawn at Balmoral.

"Now can you imagine the contrast between coming out in rags and tatters. I'd been chained to the wall and slept on the floor for years and then suddenly you're in Balmoral."

Terry Waite when he was freed in November 1991 Credit: PA Wire

For more than 30 years Mr Waite, who now lives near Bury St Edmunds, has kept the details of what happened private, but he has spoken now because he wants everyone to have a true understanding of the type of monarch we had.

Mr Waite continued: "We stayed in the house Princess Anne uses. The fridge was stocked. I had everything we needed. There was a Land Rover, we were told just 'treat this as home.'

"The space and privacy was vital because I look back on those years, one was in the process of readjusting. I had 5 years when I didn't see anybody.

"I look back with gratitude for her support, not just for me but for my wife and our children at a time when it was needed."

Recalling his last meeting with the Queen, Mr Waite said: "It was rather touching and a little moving.

"I was doing a conference at Windsor and on the Sunday morning I went to church with my PA, and Jenny heard her say 'oh look there's Terry, I must go across and have a word with him' and she came over and we had a private conversation."

Summing up his memories of the late monarch, Mr Waite said: "She was warm, compassionate and understanding. I miss her and along with countless others thank God that I lived to know her and to appreciate her."

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