Ten years after Prince Charles helped saved Dumfries House, he and the Duchess of Cornwall joined in celebrations also marking the 25th anniversary of Classic FM.
Among the guests were Irish President Michael D Higgins, and his wife Sabina, who made the trip to Scotland after Prince Charles invited them in May at Áras an Uachtaráin. Past and present announcers Aled Jones and Myleene Klass showed off their talents, and famed Folksinger Josie Duncan with the help of students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland played Bach’s Cello Suite No 1 and Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No 1.
The evening was furthered by Pianist Ji Liu performing Liszt and Chopin with a final show by the world premiere of Twilight Falls on Temple View by Welsh composer Paul Mealor. The piece was composed just for this evening.
A spokesperson for President Higgins said the most recent of the five visits was to “strengthen the bonds between Ireland and the UK”.
Before the celebrations of Classic FM, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall (or Duke and Duchess of Rothesay while in Scotland) met the President and his wife on the steps of Dumfries House. They were given a tour including the Grand Orrery, a model of the solar system built in 1758.
The model is missing Uranus and Neptune as they had not been discovered yet.
Dumfries House is close to Prince Charles’ heart as ten years ago the owners were struggling to keep the heritage site going. Through a £45 million deal, he purchased the house and a large portion of the Chippendale furniture so it would live on.
A variety of charities, the Scottish Government and Prince’s Charities Foundation, came together to raise the money needed.
After renovating the 2000-acre estate, it was opened to the public in 2008. Around 24,000 visitors visit Dumfries House each year which is run by a trust and employs 150 people.