Charles opens Johnnie Walker whisky experience in Edinburgh

He unveiled a plaque on the rooftop terrace bar which has views of Edinburgh Castle.

Charles opens Johnnie Walker whisky experience in Edinburgh PA Media

The Prince of Wales enjoyed a sip of his own bespoke whisky cocktail as he officially opened the new Johnnie Walker Experience in Edinburgh’s Princes Street.

Charles, known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, toured the eight-floor tourist attraction set in one of the capital’s landmark heritage buildings and met employees.

He unveiled a plaque on the rooftop terrace bar which has views of Edinburgh Castle.

He unveiled a plaque on the rooftop terrace (Jane Barlow/PA)

Located in the former House of Fraser building, the centre is part of a £185m investment in the drinks company Diageo’s venues and distilleries around Scotland.

During his visit, Charles met the first students in the Johnnie Walker Learning For Life Academy, a new space dedicated to the bartender and hospitality training programme.

They were joined by representatives of The Prince’s Foundation’s introduction to hospitality courses that run at the charity’s headquarters, Dumfries House in Ayrshire.

This marked the launch of a partnership between Johnnie Walker and The Prince’s Foundation to deliver training and employment opportunities to support the sustainable recovery of hospitality and tourism across Scotland.

Charles helped make a ‘Duke of Rothesay’ cocktail (Jane Barlow/PA)

In celebration of the partnership, the students prepared a bespoke Duke of Rothesay cocktail for the royal visitor, created with Johnnie Walker Autumn, the first seasonal whisky exclusive to Johnnie Walker Princes Street, and garnished with ingredients from the gardens at Dumfries House estate.

Before signing the Johnnie Walker ledger book to mark the end of his visit, he enjoyed a sip of his drink on the rocks and joked: “These are the biggest blocks of ice I’ve ever seen.”

Laid out across 71,500 square feet, the centre will host host tours, tasting experiences and live performances.

Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes hosted Charles on the tour, along with Diageo president for supply chain and procurement Ewan Andrew, and Johnnie Walker Princes Street managing director Barbara Smith.

Menezes said: “It has been an honour to welcome His Royal Highness The Duke of Rothesay to officially open Johnnie Walker Princes Street and a pleasure to celebrate this special moment with our people and the students we are training for an exciting future in the hospitality industry.

“We are grateful to His Royal Highness for the interest he has shown in the Scotch whisky industry and we look forward to working in partnership with The Prince’s Foundation to create opportunities for people in communities across Scotland to get into training and employment in hospitality and tourism.”

Dame Laura Lee, Maggie’s chief executive, and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Rothesay. (Paul Chappells Photography)

Meanwhile, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Rothesay visited Edinburgh’s Maggie’s centre to mark 25 years of supporting people living with cancer.

Camilla marked the anniversary by visiting the original Maggie’s centre in the grounds of the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

It was a return visit for the Duchess who first visited the centre in 2008, shortly before becoming the charity’s president.

She was welcomed by Maggie’s chief executive Dame Laura Lee, Maggie Keswick Jencks’ cancer nurse who went on to help found the organisation after her death.

Dame Laura Lee said: “We are always so incredibly grateful to have Her Royal Highness as our president – she has been a huge support to us over the last 13 years.  

“It is wonderful to welcome her back to our first centre in Edinburgh to help us mark 25 years of supporting people living with cancer across the UK.

“It is wonderful that she truly understands how we help people living with cancer and how that support is needed now more than ever.”