King Charles shares memories of school cricket match as he hosts garden party

Charles and Queen Camilla welcomed about 8,000 visitors to the Palace of Holyrood House during the first day of their official stay in Edinburgh.

The King joked about his school’s poor performance on the cricket pitch when he hosted a garden party at his official Scottish residence.

Charles and Queen Camilla welcomed about 8,000 visitors to the Palace of Holyrood House during the first day of their official stay in Edinburgh, known as Holyrood Week, and were joined at the social event by the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.

At the start of the garden party, the King and his wife were introduced to the first female members of the palace’s High Constables, its ceremonial police force, who were appointed last November and were helping guests at their first garden party.

When Charles met Jacqueline and Trevor Hills from Nairn, the talk quickly turned to the sound of leather on willow – as cricket is known to fans.

Mr Hills, whose wife was invited to the social event for her role as Nairn’s registrar, said: “Charles said when he was at Gordonstoun he played cricket against a team from Nairn.

“I was debating whether to ask the score when he said his school lost.

“But he did have the highest score – although he said it wasn’t very much.”

Belinda Hacking, left, and Victoria Webber are the first female High Constables.PA Media

Commenting on the King, who has been receiving treatment for cancer, he added: “Charles looks every well considering what he’s been through and it was lovely meeting him.”

The new palace constables were Victoria Webber, 42, a breast surgeon; and Belinda Hacking, 52, a psychologist, who said they applied for the posts after hearing about them and sent in their CVs as requested and had a short interview.

Ms Hacking said: “It’s a ceremonial role we’re here to help guests if they’re lost but the public are quite curious about what we do.”

The two constables carried batons like their other male colleagues but the wooden symbols of office were for display and not to keep the crowds in order.

The four members of the royal family separately toured the garden party meeting a large number of guests and despite grey clouds that threatened rain only a few spots fell.

Earlier, Charles began his official stay in Scotland by receiving the keys to the City of Edinburgh, which is celebrating its 900th anniversary.

He was welcomed by the Lord Provost, City of Edinburgh councillor Robert Aldridge, who presented the keys on a red velvet cushion which Charles symbolically touched.

The King gave the traditional statement after his gesture: “I return these keys perfectly convinced that they cannot be placed in better hands than those of the Lord Provost and councillors of my good City of Edinburgh.”

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