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Princess Anne to visit Scotland’s toughest prison

HRH Princess Anne, Princess Royal, will be paying a visit to one of Scotland’s toughest prisons on 22 March.

As the patron of The Butler Trust, an organisation which promotes “excellence in the UK’s prisons, probation, and youth justice,” Princess Anne will be visiting HMP Shotts.

The Butler Trust works to honour and reward those who provide exemplary service while working with offenders. The Trust was set up in 1985 by Veronica Linklater (later Baroness Linklater of Butterstone) and named after Richard Austen Butler. Butler was Home Secretary from 1957 to 1962 and sought to introduce a series of reforms to the country’s prison system, including improvements to the care and rehabilitation of prisoners.

In each year of her patronage, the Princess Royal has presided over the awards ceremony and has also visited the award winners and commendees in their places of work which, in March, will bring her to HMP Shotts.

To demonstrate just how dangerous HMP Shotts can be, in July a prison guard was attacked by a prisoner and slashed across his face, leaving a permanent scar. The prison, which was rebuilt in 2012, houses a maximum of 553 male offenders who are serving long-term sentences.

Princess Anne was born in 1950 as the second child, and only daughter, of Her Majesty The Queen and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. At the time of her birth, she was second in line to the throne, and throughout the reign of her mother, she has become known as one of the hardest working members of the British Royal Family. In fact, in 2016 the Princess Royal was the second busiest working royal, clocking in 509 engagements over the course of the year. She accomplished this while battling a chest infection that put her out of commission for about a week. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and heir to the throne, clocked in as the busiest royal of 2016 with a total of 530 public engagements. However, other sources cite Princess Anne as the most active working royal with 640 engagements this year and Prince Charles coming in second with 469.

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