Prince Charles given guard of honour by Scouts on visit to hut
A kilted Prince of Wales received a guard of honour as he visited a Scout hut in north-east Scotland.
Charles was greeted by members of the 1st Macduff Scouts at their newly refurbished hut in the coastal town.
The prince, who is known as the Duke of Rothesay while in Scotland, asked about work to restore the building, which dates back to the 18th century, and was invited to take part in a craft activity.
As he was shown how to loop cord to make a colourful key ring, Charles told Scouts Jenny Duncan, 12, and 17-year-old Phoebe Wiseman: “I wouldn’t know where to begin.
“I think it’s going to take me too long to learn.”
Charles, who wore a kilt in Rothesay tartan, unveiled a plaque and spoke to the families of the Scouts, Cubs and Beavers gathered outside the hut.
He asked the crowd: “Are you all enjoying sitting in the sun?”
Pointing to the hut, one of the oldest remaining buildings in Macduff, he said: “It’s wonderful to see it all brought back to life, isn’t it?”
Scout leader Dennis Watt said: “It was a most enjoyable visit.
“He was really interested in the building and all the stuff the kids are doing, all their badges.
“He didn’t take part in trying to make a key ring but he’s a bit like myself, it’s too difficult.
“All the kids seemed to enjoy meeting him.”
Charles also visited a silversmithing and jewellery-making business in nearby Banff.
He toured the new Smiddy Centre of Excellence for Silversmithing and Jewellery, which offers skills development opportunities to people around Scotland.
The social enterprise Vanilla Ink runs classes to help vulnerable youngsters in particular, develop the skills.
Business partners Kate Pickering and Scott McIntyre opened the Centre in September after six months of work to renovate the Auld Smiddy into a skills base for workshops.
To mark the visit, they presented Charles with a quaich made at the centre before silversmith Megan Falconer introduced him to some of those taking part in session.
She also showed him how to planish, smooth and finish, a communal bowl, handing him a hammer to get to work.
Ms Falconer said: “Everyone has had a bash on the bowl and I asked His Royal Highness to use the hammer to remove the marks from when the bowl was being raised.
“I was quite nervous showing him how to do it but he really got into it.
“It was lovely to meet him and he seemed interested in what we do.
“He definitely seemed interested in being here and learning about the craft.”
At the local museum, he admired locally-produced silverware, including a teapot made in the early 1700s – said to be one of the oldest surviving silver teapots in Scotland.
Charles was also invited to view the Banff Market Cross, dating from the early 1400s.
Spotting a decorative Celtic trumpet at the museum, the prince said: “I played trumpet at school but I’m not going to try it.”
Julian Watson, chairman of Banff Preservation and Heritage Society, said after the visit: “He was very surprised at just how prolific silver production was up here – it was second after Aberdeen.
“It was a very wealthy Georgian town in its day.”
Mr Watson added: “It was a great visit and helps put Banff Museum on the map.”