Prince Charles visited Ballater Caravan Park in Aberdeenshire today.The park was taken over from the local authority by a charitable organisation who have made a variety of improvements.
The Duke of Rothesay (as Prince Charles is known in Scotland) spent a sunny few hours at the park this afternoon without the company of his Wife, the Duchess of Cornwall. The Duchess is still coming to terms with the sudden loss of her Brother, Mark Shand, who tragically died last week. This engagement was always intended to be a solo one however.
It was business as usual though for Charles. Wearing a traditional kilt and sporran, he was given a warm welcome from residents, pausing to chat with them and listen to their stories. It wasn’t just the humans who were happy to see Charles, the resident’s animals also gave the Prince a warm welcome too.
A very special guest with whom Charles spent time with today was Alexander Alexander, affectionately known as double sandy, who at 100 years of age was there when the park began operating in the 1950’s. Mr Alexander stated: “I helped clear the site in the 1950’s, it was just me and my boss then and before you know it, its expanding. Its great for the village”.
It was not only Mr Alexander who Charles got to know, Mr and Mrs Burnett, who regularly visit the site from their home in Peterculter, were more than happy to show the Prince around their static caravan. Mr Burnett joked “The caravan has never been so clean”.
Interestingly, this short visit to a caravan site in Aberdeenshire made some connection to the recent NZ/Australia tour undertaken by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Dave and Rachel Monk and their family were some of the first to speak to Charles, the family from Blenheim in New Zealand have been working their way around the world, choosing to spend this summer as wardens at Ballater. Mr Monk mentioned that: “William and Catherine just visited our home town and now we have the future King of New Zealand here too, its great”. The couple’s two children presented Prince Charles with a New Zealand flag and a small toy kiwi.
It does appear that the short visit to Ballater Caravan Park was a huge success for all involved. Seeing this sort of engagement go down so well just gets me and hopefully you even more excited for the upcoming Canadian tour that both Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will be undertaking.
photo credit: Defence Images via photopin cc