Her Majesty gave an address to open the legislature's sixth session, and spoke about how much she loves the country – and how much her husband of 73 years did as well.
"I have spoken before of my deep and abiding affection for this wonderful country and of the many happy memories Prince Philip and I always held of our time here," the 95-year-old said. "It is often said that it is the people that make a place, and there are few places where this is truer than Scotland, as we have seen in recent times."
The monarch went on to touch on the coronavirus pandemic and the issues and problems it has posed for everyone since March 2020. She took time to thank the Scottish people for everything they'd done to help each other through what's been a very difficult time.
"Following my grandson's time as Lord High Commissioner, Prince William has told me many heartening stories that he heard first hand of people and communities across Scotland uniting to protect and care for those who are isolated or vulnerable," she said. "It is only fitting that we use this occasion to acknowledge and thank these remarkable people, who have made such a positive difference to so many."
Her Majesty went on to add that there are still difficulties ahead of us and matters that urgently need addressing, such as climate change. Glasgow is set to host the COP26 conference in November, which she will attend along with other members such as Prince Charles and William.
"There is a key role for the Scottish Parliament, as with all parliaments, to help create a better, healthier future or us all, and to engage with the people they represent, especially our young people," she added.
The Queen made her speech at the end of what was her annual summer break at her Balmoral estate in the Highlands. She has since returned to Windsor Castle, where she has spent most of her time since leaving Buckingham Palace with Philip in March 2020. The royal couple moved to Windsor as a precaution during the first U.K. lockdown and spent most of their time together there until Philip's passing at age 99 on April 9.
Her Majesty received many visitors over the summer, and likely made many more happy memories while there. Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank and their baby son August were among those who travelled to Scotland to spend time with her, as did William and Duchess Kate and their children.
This will be a busy week for the Queen, who is set to travel to London on Oct. 5 to launch the Queen's Baton Relay for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games the same day. We'll also see her out on Oct. 12 as she and Princess Anne hold a Service of Thanksgiving at London's Westminster Abbey for the Royal British Legion's centenary. The Queen will also host a reception at Windsor Castle to mark the Global Investment Summit a week later.