Edinburgh care home resident, 96, flirts with Prince William during royal visit

Prince William has promised to return to an Edinburgh care home after the pandemic to give a flirtatious 96-year-old resident a kiss on the cheek.

Sunday, 23rd May 2021, 6:34 pm
Updated Sunday, 23rd May 2021, 6:49 pm

The Earl of Strathearn politely fended off the advances of Betty Magee as he joked she had made him “blush”.

William chatted with elderly residents of Queen’s Bay Lodge on Milton Road East on a visit during his stay in Edinburgh. He is in Scotland for a week after being appointed Lord High Commissioner of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Residents at Queen’s Bay Lodge, run by the Kirk, enjoyed ice cream and tea during the royal visit.

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The Duke of Cambridge chats to Betty Magee, a resident of Queen's Bay Lodge Care Home in Edinburgh, and her granddaughter Kimberley Anderson during his visit. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.
The Duke of Cambridge chats to Betty Magee, a resident of Queen's Bay Lodge Care Home in Edinburgh, and her granddaughter Kimberley Anderson during his visit. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.

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However, it was ex-servicewoman Ms Magee who stole William’s attention.

As the duke took a seat at her table, she said: “It’s customary in these parts to give a lady a kiss on the cheek.”

William replied: “Oh you are sweet. You’ll make me blush.”

William found Betty in flirtatious mood

Betty persisted, asking him to give her a peck as William laughed.

He added: “When the rules relax more I will come back and give you a kiss on the cheek, Betty.”

After speaking to other OAPs and their families he later returned to her table as his oldest admirer tried her luck again.

William said: “Betty, I don’t know who is flirting more, me or you. Talking to you makes me blush. Is there whisky in your tea Betty?

William, accompanied by Greyfriars Kirk minister, Richard Frazer (left), during a visit to the Grassmarket Community Project, in the centre's workshop, which makes furniture from recycled pews and other responsibly-resourced wood

Afterwards Betty, with her granddaughter Kimberly Anderson, 38, said: “I wanted a kiss from a prince.

“He asked how old I was and I told him I had just had my 96th birthday and I just asked him for a kiss. He said he couldn’t and then I reached out and stroked his cheek.

“I could go for him in a good way. He is a bit of all right.”

Betty, who has a great-grandchild and three grandchildren, moved into the care home last September.

She served in the Royal Air Force in the Second World War.

Earlier at the Grassmarket Community Project the duke tried his hand at woodworking, working on a stand for a nursery stool.

He met Stephen, a Grassmarket member in his late 20s with autism, who is also a volunteer at the project and is on the woodwork apprenticeship.

William joked about a “Blue Peter” moment, admitting: “I’m better at destroying things than creating things.

“Stephen’s laughing. How did I do?”

“Nine out of 10,” said Stephen.

“Very generous!” said William. “They should get electric saws now.”

The duke also had tea with several members who told him how the Grassmarket project had helped support them during the pandemic.

He told the group: “We need to keep this community feeling going after the pandemic. Even driving around London at the moment, you can really feel that community spirit, because there are no tourists, it feels like everyone who is there lives there, and we need to keep those values going.”

William began a week-long visit to Scotland on Friday and his wife will join him on Monday for the rest of the tour.

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