Ayrshire Post

Prince Charles and Camilla delight locals with a tour of Ayrshire, enjoying some haggis and a wee dram

- ABI SMILLIE

The red carpet was rolled out as Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay embarked on a tour of Ayrshire on Thursday.

Prince Charles and Camilla delighted and surprised locals as they visited Alloway, Burns Cottage, Dumfries House and officially opened new refuge accommodat­ion for South Ayrshire Women’s Aid.

In Alloway, the Royals enjoyed a dram at the birthplace of Robert Burns to celebrate the National Trust for Scotland’s 90th birthday.

The couple were met by the LordLieute­nant of Ayrshire and Arran, Sheriff Iona Sara McDonald, in Alloway Main Street and spoke with local residents, school children and business owners including Alloway’s Post Office and Village Store and Poet’s Corner Cafe.

Alloway Pharmacy were thrilled to receive a royal visit and posted on their Facebook: “It’s not every day we get royalty stopping by!

“Prince Charles and Camilla kindly spoke to the staff for a good two to three minutes about our hard work during the covid pandemic.”

The Duchess then visited South Ayrshire Women’s Aid to officially open their renovated refuge accommodat­ion.

The organisati­on’s refuge accommodat­ion was originally built as a communal facility, but thanks to a major overhaul it has been reconfigur­ed as eight individual flats to allow women and children fleeing domestic abuse their own space and privacy.

Camilla viewed one of the flats and congratula­ted SAWA on the “incredible job you all do for violence against women.”

She added: “I can understand the importance to you of having somewhere safe to go, but also somewhere that offers you privacy as well as support and advice.”

And no Royal visit to Ayrshire would be complete without a stop at Dumfries House, which Prince Charles saved for the nation in 2007.

The Duke and Duchess visited the

Palladian country house in Cumnock to unveil a very special knitted art installati­on which celebrates the traditiona­l craft.

The patchwork mosaic, which weighs an impressive 130kg, was draped over the estate’s historic Adam Bridge, creating a joyous kaleidosco­pe of colour and textile for visitors to admire.

HRH Prince Charles came up with the idea for the project in an effort to get the world knitting and highlight the associated mental health benefits that practising the skill can bring.

More than 9000 hand-knitted squares were contribute­d by individual­s and knitting groups from all across the world, including Italy, Belgium, Tasmania, the United States and Canada.

And of course many locals got

involved with the project, which saw a wide range of contributo­rs ranging from nine-year-old Sasha Bolt from Sanquhar to 101-yearold Ethel Carlyle from Troon, who sadly passed away shortly after contributi­ng her square. Ninety-two-year-old Jessie Boardman is the oldest living person to take part.

The squares were sewn together to create the patchwork piece by staff from The Prince’s Foundation, participan­ts of the charity’s textiles programmes and prisoners from Cornton Vale Prison in Stirling as part of a rehabilita­tion initiative.

The patchwork will be dismantled into smaller blankets and distribute­d to charities in need.

Ashleigh Douglas, future textiles manager for The Prince’s Foundation, said: “We are proud to have finally unveiled our beautiful knitted art installati­on and would like to thank every single person who has contribute­d to it for their efforts.

“It has been wonderful to see so many people come together to celebrate this dynamic craftform.

“Ayrshire was once home to a booming textile industry but lack of training in traditiona­l techniques such as hand-knitting, sewing, pattern-cutting and weaving has led to a skills shortage in the area.

“The Prince’s Foundation runs a number of different programmes and initiative­s, such as Knitwise, which aim to help revive and revitalise these invaluable skills in a sustainabl­e way.

“Knitting is known to have multiple benefits for the mind and body including reducing depression and anxiety, relieving stress and helping improve motor functions.”

Camilla also attended a Women in Journalism mentoring event at Dumfries House, attended by our reporter Abi Smillie, and gave a poignant speech about the situation in Afghanista­n.

Before leaving, The Duchess addressed the room and said: “I’ve been reliably informed that in 2020, there were 700 female journalist­s working in Kabul. Today, there are fewer than 100.

“With the loss of 600 voices, the experience­s of countless Afghans will remain untold.

“All journalist­s who fight for truth and justice in the face of retributio­n deserve our thanks and admiration.

“Let’s do all we can to support, promote and, crucially, listen to the brave female journalist­s of Afghanista­n, whose work puts them in danger every single day.”

 ??  ?? Meet and greet The Post’s Abi Smillie, second left, meets Camilla. Pic: Elaine Livingston­e for Women In Journalism Scotland
Meet and greet The Post’s Abi Smillie, second left, meets Camilla. Pic: Elaine Livingston­e for Women In Journalism Scotland
 ??  ?? Charming the locals
Prince Charles said hello to Alloway residents
Charming the locals Prince Charles said hello to Alloway residents
 ??  ?? We hae meat Prince Charles and Camilla enjoy some haggis and a dram
We hae meat Prince Charles and Camilla enjoy some haggis and a dram
 ??  ?? Royal opening Camilla, pictured with South Ayrshire Women’s Aid staff, officially opens their new refuge accommodat­ion
Royal opening Camilla, pictured with South Ayrshire Women’s Aid staff, officially opens their new refuge accommodat­ion
 ??  ?? Proud as punch One of the oldest contributo­rs to take part, Jessie Boardman, stands by the finished artwork
Proud as punch One of the oldest contributo­rs to take part, Jessie Boardman, stands by the finished artwork
 ??  ?? Celebratio­ns The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay outside Burns Cottage on their tour of Ayrshire
Celebratio­ns The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay outside Burns Cottage on their tour of Ayrshire
 ??  ?? Patchwork pals Prince Charles and Camilla unveiled this stunning knitted art installati­on
Patchwork pals Prince Charles and Camilla unveiled this stunning knitted art installati­on
 ??  ?? Starstruck Alloway Primary schoolchil­dren enjoyed meeting Their Royal Highnesses
Starstruck Alloway Primary schoolchil­dren enjoyed meeting Their Royal Highnesses
 ??  ?? Bumping elbows Prince Charles is all smiles as he says hello to a resident
Bumping elbows Prince Charles is all smiles as he says hello to a resident

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