The Princess Royal brushed off a row as she oversaw the opening of the Port of Aberdeen’s £420 million South Harbour expansion project.
Bob Sanguinetti, the CEO of Port of Aberdeen, said it was an honour that the Princess Royal was there to open Scotland’s newest harbour on what is considered the UK’s oldest business. The expanded port, in addition to jobs and income, will help with tourism, trade, and energy. It is also now Scotland’s largest berthage port.
The port was expanded in hopes it would catalyze a multi-billion pound economic and job boost for Scotland. By the time the Port of Aberdeen reaches its fullest potential, the number of jobs could go up to 17,500, a 45% increase.
However, Deputy First Minister Shona Robison was labelled “disrespectful” by critics as she turned up 40 minutes late to meet Her Royal Highness. Attending on behalf of the Scottish Government, it’s understood that in addition to the Princess, more than 300 guests were left waiting. The Scottish Daily Mail reports the Princess spent the time speaking to members of the public. In response, the Scottish Government says Robison’s lateness was because of “urgent government business”, adding speeches were not delayed and organisers were notified ahead of time.
Douglas Lumsden, the Scottish Conservative MSP for North East Scotland wrote in a statement: “It was completely disrespectful that the Deputy First Minister could not get to the Royal opening of Aberdeen Harbour on time and to keep everyone waiting, including Princess Anne, is quite disgraceful.”
In traditional royal fashion, the princess unveiled a plaque to mark the opening and her visit. She’s involved with several maritime oragnisations including the Marine Society, Scottish Fisheries Museum, and Sea Cadets.