On Saturday, 6 August, the Duke of Rothesay, as Prince Charles is known in Scotland, attended the Mey Highland Games. Due to the Mey field being waterlogged the games were held in John O’Groats for the second year in a row.
The Duke has attended the games in his role of chieftain every year since the death of his grandmother in 2002. Before her passing the Queen Mother had attended the event every year since she bought the Castle of Mey in 1952.
Prince Charles was seen to be thoroughly enjoying watching the usual array of tartan, caber-tossing and tug of war and was joined by more than 500 fellow spectators who had travelled from as far afield as Canada, Brazil and New Zealand.
Of the event Mey Games chairman Val Ashpool said, ‘It was a very successful games and he [the Duke] seemed happy with what went on. He did find the dressage display amusing. We had a children’s wooden horse head on a stick and a complete dressage display and that went down very well. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy the occasion, it all seemed very relaxed and we were lucky with the weather.’
Following the games on Sunday, 7 August the Duke attended a service at Canisbay Kirk, the most northerly church on the Scottish mainland. He was joined by a dozen schoolchildren from nearby Crossroads Primary School who sung two hymns with their own added twist…
Canisbay Kirk Minister Lyall Rennie said, ‘It was a normal service, but we also had the children from Crossroads primary school which is the nearest school to Castle of Mey, and so they came along and they did a couple of songs for him.
‘One of the songs was called He has got the whole world in his hands, and the children added an extra verse. This went: He has got Dear Prince Charles in his hands. He was quite pleased with that.
‘We have the prince here every year and it’s always good when he comes along. He is really very pleasant and chats to everyone involved.’
Carrying on a tradition started by his grandmother, Prince Charles brought a supply of Christmas cake for the crowd.