Camilla visits tiny village school as Eugenie weds
The duchess was invited to meet pupils at Crathie Primary in Aberdeenshire.
The Duchess of Cornwall inspected stuffed animals with children at a tiny village school in Aberdeenshire as Princess Eugenie wed at Windsor Castle.
Camilla visited the primary near the royal residence of Balmoral as husband Charles attended the wedding of his niece to Jack Brooksbank along with around 850 guests.
It is understood that Friday’s invitation was a longstanding one and the duchess did not want to let the schoolchildren down.
Camilla’s arrival at Crathie Primary just before 11am – around the time Eugenie and her father, the Duke of York, arrived at St George’s Chapel – was delayed due to a tree on the road in very blustery weather.
She was given a tour of the school – which has just nine pupils – by 11-year-old Logan Beedie and Zara Jones, 10.
They showed her project work that they had been doing on the Cairngorms and introduced her to a host of stuffed animals given to the school, including an otter, grouse and hind.
As Eugenie and Mr Brooksbank exchanged vows in Windsor, Camilla was shown a Scottish wildcat and spoke of her love of the local area and its wildlife with the pupils.
She said she had never seen a capercaillie but had been fortunate to see some golden eagles, telling the children: “They’re wonderful creatures – they’re so big. When they have their wings out they’re huge.”
The duchess said nearby Lochnagar was a “special place” and told how she enjoyed cross-country skiing “because you can go for miles and miles, but it’s very hard work”.
Camilla presented the pupils with books for the school library and she received a posy and card from the children.
The duchess later visited a new heritage centre named in honour of her husband, known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, where she watched a display of Highland dancing by 24-year-old Rachael Walker, from Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire.
The Duke of Rothesay Highland Games Pavilion is situated in the Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park, where the world-famous Braemar Gathering is held every September and regularly attended by the Queen.
The centre, which will open to the public next spring, tells the story of Scotland’s Highland Games and is the new headquarters of the Braemar Royal Highland Society, organisers of the Gathering.
Camilla admired a map of the site dating from 1906 and met members of the society and staff of the Prince’s Foundation, a charity founded by Charles which was involved in the building’s construction.
As the newly married couple kissed on the steps of St George’s Chapel, the duchess was introduced to members of the community in the tearoom who invited her to sit down and have a cup.
David Geddes, president of the Braemar Royal Highland Society, said: “When the building was unveiled to Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Rothesay during the Braemar Gathering, the duchess was unable to attend due to prior commitments.
“However, we are delighted she has been able to see the building for herself and we look forward to welcoming her back in future.”
He added: “Our hope is that people will come and visit when they are on holiday, and because they’ve been here they’ll be inspired to go to Highland Games around Scotland.”
Robert Lovie, of the Prince’s Foundation, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Duchess of Rothesay to Braemar for her to see first-hand the completed Duke of Rothesay Highland Games Pavilion.
“She was enthusiastic about the building’s beauty, the value of its purpose, and its ability to fit seamlessly into the surroundings.”