The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay today visited Edinburgh.
To begin the day, Their Royal Highnesses visited the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to celebrate its 350th anniversary. The second oldest botanic garden in Britain after Oxford, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh was founded in 1670 as a physic garden.
It was originally established near the Palace of Holyroodhouse by medics Andrew Balfour and Robert Sibbald, to supply fresh plants for medical prescriptions and to help teach medical botany to students. Today, The Duke and Duchess met local people whose health and wellbeing has been seen to benefit from spending time with nature.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is working in around 50 countries, significantly in the Himalaya, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Central and South America – and Scotland. In the face of the biodiversity crisis and climate emergency, the work and global networking of botanic gardens has never been more important for plant science, conservation horticulture, education and public engagement.
Next on Princes Street, The Duke visited Johnnie Walker to officially open the new global visitor experience in Edinburgh. The eight-floor attraction in one of the city’s landmark heritage buildings, the 200-year story experience will guide visitors on a Johnnie Walker Journey of Flavour personalised to their flavour preferences. Johnnie Walker Princes Street opens its doors with a Green Tourism Gold Award – the highest sustainability accolade for a visitor attraction.
Meanwhile, The Duchess, in her role as President, celebrated Maggie’s 25th anniversary with a visit to the charity's first cancer support centre that was built and opened in 1996.
Maggie's centres were the vision of Maggie Keswick Jencks who lived with advanced cancer for two years. After she died in 1995, her oncologist nurse, Dame Laura Lee, now Maggie’s Chief Executive, worked with Maggie’s family to make sure her vision became a reality.
Later, The Duchess of Rothesay presented service medals to Riflemen during a visit to 3rd Battalion The Rifles.
The Duchess heard how the 3 Rifles have been supporting the community during the Covid-19 pandemic - they were recently deployed teams to Dumfries and Galloway to provide assistance in vaccination centres.