Stephen Shaw, a former Black Watch sergeant who danced with the Queen Mother, has died aged 64.
He was serving as a royal guard based at Ballater in the 1970s when he was chosen to attend a ball at Balmoral castle.
“He had to get dancing instruction before he attended because he had two left feet,” said his wife Victoria.
“He enjoyed the experience of dancing with the Queen Mother but he did say that Prince Philip was grumpy.”
Stephen Robert Shaw, who was born in Dundee in 1956, died in Bedfordshire after a long illness.
He was educated at SS Peter and Paul Primary School and then St Michael’s Secondary school.
Stephen joined The Black Watch as a boy soldier in 1972. He progressed through the ranks to sergeant, serving in Canada, Northern Ireland, Germany and as a royal guard at Ballater.
He left the army in 1982 and began work with Thorn, which rented white goods, televisions and electronic goods. The firm later became Boxclever after a subsequent merger of Radio Rentals and Granada Rentals.
Stephen rose from being a delivery driver to senior management. He was based in Scotland but had to make weekly trips to the head office in Bedfordshire.
In 2000, he relocated to Bedfordshire where he met his future wife, Victoria.
After being made redundant in 2008, Stephen became very poorly and was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphona.
Stephen underwent eight rounds of chemotherapy and, having been given the all clear, the couple married in July, 2009.
But the treatment had had detrimental effect on Stephen’s kidneys and he had to start dialysis in 2012.
Victoria said: “He started to go downhill but he was determined to work. He sold air conditioning and worked as a delivery driver while receiving dialysis three times a week.”
In October 2012, the couple gave birth to daughter Dorothy, conceived through IVF.
“We knew the treatment Stephen was receiving would leave him infertile so we prepared for this,” said Victoria.
Stephen then faced another devastating setback. He had been due to receive a kidney transplant and his brother John was to be the donor when it was discovered he had kidney cancer.
The kidney was removed but he would have had to have three years free of cancer to be eligible for a transplant.
“Sadly, it was not to be. Stephen’s health continued to deteriorate and gradually his body began to close down,” said Victoria.
The couple had another child, Douglas, who was born in 2016 after IVF.
“Even though he was ill, you could still see sparks of him. He had a granite core and liked nothing better than watching television with the children. He really took to cooking during lockdown and loved nothing better than making something for the kids.”
The family’s announcement can be read here.