Edinburgh pupils welcome Camilla to the Capital

Camilla speaks to Towerbank Primary. Picture: PA
Camilla speaks to Towerbank Primary. Picture: PA
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Charles and Camilla were treated to a right royal welcome when they arrived in the Capital for a series of public engagements.

The couple, known as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland, were greeted with cheers as they toured businesses and met youngsters.

The Duchess was welcomed to Portobello by 100 excited children from Towerbank Primary who had prepared a 20ft banner in her honour.

She was treated to no less than three “hip hip hoorays” as she made her way towards the Beach House Cafe and the Portobello Sailing and Kayaking club.

“They have been really excited about the visit and this is a great thing for the community of Portobello,” added headteacher Joyce Gilmour.

The Duchess also donned a pinny at Breadshare in Portobello as volunteers told her about the work of the community bakery.

Breadshare, started in 2011 as a not-for-profit social enterprise, makes products using organic ingredients sold at affordable prices. Since then, bakery production has increased from 200 organic loaves a week to over 2500.

She also sampled a sourdough loaf made from flour that was ground and milled in East Lothian.

Baker Geoff Crowe, who prepared it, said: “It’s organic and completely Scottish and I believe she loved it.”

The Duchess also spoke with business development manager Debra Riddell, Geoff’s wife.

When she joked that he dutifully did whatever she asked, the Duchess quipped: “That’s always useful in a husband”.

Earlier the same day, Charles visited city-based Finmeccanica-Selex ES where he guided a robot around an obstacle course without knocking down a single object.

And the couple toured stalls in St Andrew Square for an event celebrating 15 years of the Edinburgh Farmers’ Market.

The royal couple were quickly surrounded by people taking pictures on their phones when they entered the Multrees Walk entrance to the square, prompting Charles to joke: “I think we are getting in the way.”

A passionate advocate of organic farming and supporter of local produce, Charles tasted whisky ice cream from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) and enjoyed a sniff of garlic balsamic from city-based Gusto Artisan Foods.

Jan-Willem Damen, operations manager for the SMWS, said: “We were talking about whisky. He asked what the thought was behind whisky and ice cream but he seemed to enjoy it. We know he’s a great admirer so we gave him a bottle.”

Meanwhile, Camilla appeared more impressed by a banana, apple, strawberry and lemon smoothie courtesy of East Lothian-based East Coast Organics.

And top Edinburgh chef Mark Greenaway said Charles had invited him to one of his royal houses in Dumfries because the Prince “needed more chefs” – and admitted if it was a “serious” request he would of course take His Royal Highness up on the offer.

Mark said: “He’s really lovely, a charming chap, and much more down-to-earth than I thought he would be and he’s a great advocate of Scottish produce.”

Charles, whose son Prince Harry this week retired from the military, also found time to speak with Blair Ewen from Portobello who is considering a career in the armed services. The 17-year-old, who described it as an “honour” to meet Charles, added that the Prince had wished him good luck for the journey ahead.

john.connell@edinburghnews.com