Queen introduced to Irn-Bru as she begins visit to Scotland

The Queen has been introduced to Scotland’s other national drink, Irn-Bru, as she began a four-day visit north of the border.

Making her first official visit to Scotland since the death of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen was given a tour of AG Barr’s factory in Cumbernauld, where the soft drink is manufactured.

She was joined by her grandson the Duke of Cambridge, known as the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland, who took a sip of the soft drink as the Queen looked on.

The Queen
The Queen visits AG Barr’s factory in Cumbernauld (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Irn-Bru was launched in 1901 and has become an iconic brand in Scotland, rivalling whisky as the country’s national tipple.

The Queen opened the factory’s new process facility, met with employees and was given an overview of the history of the company.

The 95-year-old monarch will carry out in-person engagements celebrating Scottish community, innovation and history over the next four days as part of her traditional trip to Scotland for Holyrood Week.

She will be joined later in the week by her daughter the Princess Royal.

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The Queen, who has continued with her duties as head of state despite grieving for her late husband, will stay at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, her official residence in Scotland.

She will be joined by William at engagements on Monday, while Anne will accompany her on Wednesday and Thursday.

Holyrood Week, also known as Royal Week, was cancelled last year because of the pandemic.

This year, in line with Government guidelines, traditional events hosting thousands of people such as the garden party at Holyroodhouse will not take place.

The royal garden party in 2014
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh meet guests during a garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh in July 2014 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

In a series of tweets on Sunday, Buckingham Palace emphasised the Queen’s long-standing links to Scotland.

It said: “Tomorrow, The Queen will arrive in Scotland for #RoyalWeek2021 Royal Week, or ‘Holyrood Week’, takes place each Summer as The Queen and Members of the Royal Family undertake visits across Scotland celebrating Scottish culture, achievement and communities.

“Her Majesty is connected to Scotland by ancestry and deeply held affection. As well as spending family Summers at Balmoral Castle, The Queen has visited almost every area of Scotland from the Outer Hebrides to Dumfries, meeting Scots from all walks of life.”