Camilla visits tiny village school on day of royal wedding
The duchess met Crathie Primary’s nine pupils during an engagement in Aberdeenshire.
The Duchess of Cornwall braved stormy weather on Royal Deeside to visit a tiny village school as her husband attended the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in Windsor.
Camilla’s arrival at Crathie Primary in Aberdeenshire was delayed by a tree on the road as the area, home to the royals’ Balmoral residence, was lashed by high winds and heavy rain.
She was given a tour of the school – which has just nine pupils – before visiting a new games pavilion in nearby Braemar.
It is understood that Friday’s invitation was a long-standing one and Camilla did not want to let the schoolchildren down.
After apologising for her late arrival, she told her guides, 11-year-old Logan Beedie and Zara Jones, 10: “It’s nice and blowy outside, isn’t it?”
Camilla, who is known as the Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland, shared her love of the local area and its wildlife with the pupils.
She said she had never seen a capercaillie but had been fortunate to see some golden eagles, telling the children: “They’re wonderful creatures – they’re so big. When they have their wings out they’re huge.”
The Duchess said nearby Lochnagar was a “special place” and told how she enjoyed cross-country skiing “because you can go for miles and miles, but it’s very hard work”.
Camilla presented the pupils with books for the school library and she received a posy and card from the children.
The Duchess later visited a new heritage centre named in honour of her husband, the Prince of Wales, where she watched a display of Highland dancing by 24-year-old Rachael Walker from Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire.
The Duke of Rothesay Highland Games Pavilion is situated in the Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park, where the world-famous Braemar Gathering is held every September and regularly attended by the Queen.
The centre, which will open to the public next spring, tells the story of Scotland’s Highland Games and is the new headquarters of the Braemar Royal Highland Society, organisers of the Gathering.
Camilla admired a map of the site dating from 1906 and met members of the society and staff of The Prince’s Foundation, a charity founded by Charles which was involved in the building’s construction.
David Geddes, president of the Braemar Royal Highland Society, said: “When the building was unveiled to Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Rothesay during the Braemar Gathering, the Duchess was unable to attend due to prior commitments.
“However, we are delighted she has been able to see the building for herself and we look forward to welcoming her back in future.”
He added: “Our hope is that people will come and visit when they are on holiday, and because they’ve been here they’ll be inspired to go to Highland Games around Scotland.”
Robert Lovie of The Prince’s Foundation said: “It was a pleasure to welcome The Duchess of Rothesay to Braemar for her to see first-hand the completed Duke of Rothesay Highland Games Pavilion.
“She was enthusiastic about the building’s beauty, the value of its purpose, and its ability to fit seamlessly into the surroundings.”
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