The King and Queen Consort returned to Aberdeenshire on Tuesday to thank the community for their “organisation and support” following the Queen’s death.
They were welcomed to the Victoria and Albert Hall, in Ballater near the royal Scottish residence by the Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, Alexander Philip Manson, his wife Barbara Manson and the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, Joanna, Marchioness of Aberdeen.
They attended a reception to thank the community for their organisation and support following the death of Elizabeth II and learned of the detailed planning which was implemented in the north east of Scotland.
Before going into the hall to meet local council workers, emergency service staff, civic leaders and others who helped in Queen Elizabeth’s final journey from her beloved Balmoral estate, the King met with those who lined the cortege route in Aberdeenshire.
They included horses and the riders and the farmers who lined up their tractors in tribute to the late monarch at Banchory.
It is estimated that 25,000 people attended along the cortege route in Aberdeenshire as it travelled towards Edinburgh from Balmoral.
Roddy Blackhill, 54, said: “They were really easy to talk to and down to earth and were interested in what was happening on the farm and how harvest went.”
The farmer, who was there with Keith Mitchell, 46, added the idea to form the tribute as the Queen made her way to Edinburgh was made quickly and, after a few phone calls, everything fell into place.
Charles and Camilla made an impromptu walkabout, meeting locals from the village, much to the delight of well wishers.
Kate Fraser, 31, and her eight-month-old son, Liam, were among those who met the royals before they went into the hall.
“We are from Ballater so we see him quite a lot,” said the mother-of-three. “My husband does his fencing work, so it’s quite nice to say I have met him too now.”
Inside the hall, the King and Queen Consort spent about an hour speaking to guests and were presented with a stained glass from Aberdeenshire lieutenancy commissioned to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Local schoolchildren also had the chance to meet the new King and his wife, with Brodie Wynne, six, and Annie Hutchon, seven, representing Crathie School.
Brodie said he spoke to Camilla about his dogs and ferrets, and said she told him her dog liked to chase deer.
As the royal couple left, to the sound of cheers and a pipe band, the pair handed Camilla a bouquet of flowers, and the seven-year-old said she was “really happy”.
The visit comes after Charles and Camilla visited Dunfermline earlier this month, in their first joint public engagement since royal mourning ended.
Dunfermline, which used to be Scotland’s capital, won city status as part of celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee earlier this year – that status was formally conferred by King Charles during his visit.
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