'I got to know her and appreciate her': How the Queen helped ex-hostage Terry Waite from Cheshire

An ex-hostage from Cheshire has opened up about his stay at Balmoral following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Terry Waite, from Bollington in Cheshire, has kept his stay at Balmoral private for around 30 years.

In 1991 the now 83-year-old was released after spending nearly five years in captivity.

Terry Waite was himself kidnapped and held captive from 1987 to 1991 Credit: Terry Waite

Waiting for him was a royal invitation to help him overcome his ordeal. He was escorted on a helicopter to Balmoral.

"We got into a helicopter and flew across Scotland and landed on the front lawn of Balmoral," he said.

"Can you imagine the contrast between rags and tatters. I had been chained to the wall and slept on the floor for years and then suddenly, boom, I'm here in Balmoral."

Credit: PA Images

Mr Waite recalled staying in the house that Princess Anne uses in the estate.

"The fridge was stocked. We had everything we needed.

"We were told 'just treat this as home'."

While in captivity Mr Waite was unable see anybody for almost half a decade.

"One was in the process of readjusting. I had five years where I didn't see anybody because I had a blindfold.

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

Mr Waite recalled being invited to a private lunch in Buckingham Palace when he first released hostages from Iran.

Remembering his encounter with the Queen he said: "She was warm, compassionate and understanding."

"I got to know her and appreciate her."