A MAN who once danced with Queen Elizabeth II has passed away - just weeks after the late monarch's death.

Eddie Duncan, 80, was a well known and much loved character in Fairlie, had strong links to the Royal Family, having served as their official gamekeeper at Balmoral.

The pensioner leaves behind wife Moyra, four children and a number of grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He passed away in Crosshouse Hospital following a short illness, and was laid to rest at Clyde Coast Crematorium on Friday, with mourners donating to the Beatson in his memory.

Brian Flannigan, owner of the Village Inn and Mudhook in Fairlie, says he was honoured to provide Eddie's eulogy at the funeral.

He told the News that Eddie was 'a great man who enjoyed a tipple at his favourite stool at the bar'.

The landlord told how he often regaled patrons with his amazing stories of mixing with royalty, recollections of his army days and his time as Balmoral's gamekeeper.

Brian said: "Eddie was often a man of very few words, however when he did speak you would listen to what he would say.

"He would take the time to tell you the amazing stories about his life, his family and his remarkable career.

"He would talk about his time in the army and all the countries he had visited, and we heard some amazing stories about the time with the Royal Family.

"His claim to fame was that he once danced with the late Queen Elizabeth II at a function at the estate - and he spoke fondly of all of her children, who he spent time with as they grew up."

Brian said Eddie's favourite tipple was always a glass of White and Mackay - and was always accompanied by his impeccably-trained dog Skye.

Brian added: "Eddie has put a smile on so many faces with his stories, he was a wonderful raconteur.

"He was a character, a mainstay, a piece of the furniture at the Village Inn. He was a man that no matter what happened would always be there with an ear ready to listen.

"He will be missed very much, each and every day by all who knew him - he was undoubtedly one of a kind."