The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are touring Scotland next week! The trip was announced Wednesday, and today we’ll cover some of the engagements that are planned. One of the high points will be the couple’s return to the University of St. Andrews, where they first met. Below, the duo at a February 2011 engagement at the University.
As the Edinburgh News writes in this story, “The Duke and Duchess will host several events during the week to thank individuals who have gone above and beyond to support their communities over the last year including NHS staff, frontline workers, emergency responders, volunteers, and the military.”
Prince William is the Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, which begins tomorrow. Below, a scene from the opening procession for the 2019 General Assembly.
If curious about the role of the Lord High Commissioner, here is more from the Church of Scotland:
The Lord High Commissioner is the Sovereign’s personal representative to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The Lord High Commissioner’s role is to maintain the relationship between the State and the Church. The appointee attends the General Assembly as an observer, makes an address, and reports to Her Majesty on its proceedings. The tradition of appointing a Lord High Commissioner began in the late 16th century.
Another view from the 2019 General Assembly.
Prince William was slated to attend last year’s General Assembly as Lord High Commissioner, but that changed because of the pandemic. The Royal Family site notes, “Members of the Royal Family have also been appointed in the past, and The Princess Royal, The Duke of Rothesay, The Duke of York and The Earl of Wessex have all been appointed to the role, The Princess Royal twice.”
Below, Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of 2013, Baron Selkirk of Douglas, inspecting the Guard of Honour as he takes up residency at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Duke arrived in Edinburgh today. Here you see him inspecting a Guard of Honour at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, as he is formally welcomed as Lord High Commissioner.
The Prince also visited the Spartans FC and Community Association at Ainslie Park Stadium in Edinburgh to hear how the Heads Together ‘Mentally Healthy Football’ initiative in Scottish football is going. Tomorrow is the Scottish Cup Final, and the Duke has invited emergency responders to watch it with him at a rooftop bar.
The Daily Mail’s Rebecca English reports he also “met club volunteers who helped to deliver over 83,000 food parcels to the local community during the pandemic.”
The Duchess will join him on Monday, the 24th. I believe they are staying at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, HM’s official residence in Scotland.
In their role as patrons of NHS Charities Together, the couple will host a special screening of Disney’s Cruella for NHS (National Health Service) staff at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. There will be a special drive-in cinema where everyone can watch the movie.
Ahead of the UN’s annual climate change conference, COP26, which is being held in Glasgow this year, the royals will see “innovative projects that are aiming to positively change the dial on climate change.” At Knockhill Racing Circuit, they will race an Extreme E electric vehicle, and they will visit the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney.
There is a Fields in Trust engagement on the itinerary. Fields in Trust helps protect green spaces across the UK. Prince Philip was the organization’s patron for 64 years; he handed that patronage off to Prince William in 2013. We’ll also see the couple meeting young caregivers from Fife and doing a little land yachting on the beach. (Think sailboats with wheels.)
And as mentioned, twenty years after first meeting each other at St. Andrews, they will return to the university. Below, a pre-wedding engagement in February 2011.
They will meet students and hear how they have coped during the pandemic.
Here you see the Countess of Strathearn (as the Duchess is titled in Scotland) wearing a coat by Scottish-born designer Jonathan Saunders during a May 2014 trip.
When visiting Dundee in October 2015, the Duchess wore pieces by Christopher Kane, also born in Scotland.
And just last December, she wore repeated pieces when in Scotland as part of their Royal Train Tour.
Of course, the couple has spent time at Balmoral, the Queen’s country estate, where we see the Duchess accompany HM to church. Below, a photo from August 2019.
Next week I think we can look for a mix of pieces and designers. We’ll likely see repeats, a tartan design or two, items by British and Scottish brands, and the color blue (Scotland’s flag is blue and white, and the NHS primary color is blue).