Care home resident flirts with William as duke avoids Bashir controversy

The Duke of Cambridge has promised to return to a Scottish care home after the pandemic to give a flirtatious 96-year-old resident a kiss on the cheek.

William politely fended off the advances of the elderly admirer as he joked “you are making me blush”.

The duke showed no signs of stress amid the Martin Bashir BBC scandal as he joked and chatted with elderly residents of Queen’s Bay Lodge in Edinburgh.

He had earlier ignored a question from a journalist about the Panorama controversy.

Duke of Cambridge
Betty Magee reaches towards William (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Leaving the Grassmarket Community Project in Edinburgh, a TV producer shouted: “Are you aware of Martin Bashir’s apology, your highness?”

William ignored the question and continued to his waiting car.

The BBC said Bashir had admitted commissioning mocked-up bank documents as he sought to secure an interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Bashir said he “never wanted to harm” Diana with the Panorama interview, adding: “I don’t believe we did.”

He said he is “deeply sorry” to her sons William and the Duke of Sussex.

William is in Scotland after being appointed Lord High Commissioner of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Residents at Queen’s Bay Lodge, which is run by the Kirk, snacked on ice cream and sipped tea as they enjoyed the royal visit.

But it was great-grandmother and ex-servicewoman Betty Magee, 96, who stole William’s attention.

As the duke took a seat at her table in a marquee in the grounds of the care home, she said: “It’s customary in these parts to give a lady a kiss on the cheek.”

William replied: “Oh you are sweet. You’ll make me blush.”

Betty persisted, asking him to give her a peck as William laughed and covered his face in mock embarrassment.

He added: “When the rules relax more I will come back and give you a kiss on the cheek Betty.”

After speaking to other OAPs and their families he later returned to her table as his oldest admirer tried her luck again.

William said: “Betty, I don’t know who is flirting more, me or you. Talking to you makes me blush. Is there whisky in your tea Betty?

Afterwards Betty, with her granddaughter Kimberly Anderson, 38, said: “I wanted a kiss from a prince.

“He asked how old I was and I told him I had just had my 96th birthday and I just asked him for a kiss. He said he couldn’t and then I reached out and stroked his cheek.

“I could go for him in a good way. He is a bit of all right.”

Betty, who has a great-grandchild and three grandchildren, moved into the care home last September.

She served in the Royal Air Force in the Second World War.

Duke of Cambridge
The duke is on a week-long visit to Scotland (Chris Jackson/PA)

Earlier at the Grassmarket Community Project the duke tried his hand at woodworking, working on a stand for a nursery stool.

He met Stephen, a Grassmarket member in his late 20s with autism, who is also a volunteer at the project and is on the woodwork apprenticeship.

William joked about a “Blue Peter” moment, admitting: “I’m better at destroying things than creating things.

“Stephen’s laughing. How did I do?”

“Nine out of 10,” said Stephen.

“Very generous!” said William. “They should get electric saws now.”

The duke also had tea with several members who told him how the Grassmarket project had helped support them during the pandemic.

He told the group: “We need to keep this community feeling going after the pandemic. Even driving around London at the moment, you can really feel that community spirit, because there are no tourists, it feels like everyone who is there lives there, and we need to keep those values going.”

William began a week-long visit to Scotland on Friday and the Duchess of Cambridge will join him on Monday for the rest of the tour.