The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay welcome the President of Ireland to Dumfries House and attend a concert celebrating 25 years of Classic FM


The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay (as The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are known when in Scotland) welcomed the President of Ireland and the First Lady to Dumfries House today as Their Royal Highnesses began three days of official engagements in Scotland. 

TRH with the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, and his wife Sabina at Dumfries House
TRH with the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, and his wife Sabina at Dumfries House

The Duke of Rothesay invited the President to Dumfries House in May this year, when President Higgins hosted the Royal couple for meetings at his official residence in Dublin.

President Michael D Higgins and Mrs Sabina Higgins joined The Duke and Duchess in celebrating 10 years since His Royal Highness helped secure the future of Dumfries House, an 18th-century stately home. 

Celebrations are being held this week to mark a decade since the house was opened to the public after being saved for the nation by The Duke. The house and collection of Chippendale furniture were at risk of sale and dispersal after the owners struggled with upkeep costs.

On entering Dumfries House, the President and Mrs Higgins were shown the Grand Orrery, a mechanical model of the solar system built around 1758.

During their tour of the estate, the President and Mrs Higgins heard about the significance of building on the talents of young people from under-privileged backgrounds as part of the Dumfries House project. 

Although Dumfries House is a place of outstanding heritage value, it also provides a centre for educational skills training and job opportunities. Each year around 24,000 people visit the 2000-acre Dumfries House estate, which employs about 150 staff and provides a series of amenities to the local community.

In the evening, The President and Mrs Higgins joined Their Royal Highnesses in attending a live broadcast recital at a concert celebrating 25 years of Classic FM.

The radio recital, broadcast on the eve of the radio station's 25th birthday, began with a special performance from Aled Jones, who performed a track duetting with the voice of his younger self.

He was then joined by fellow Classic FM presenter Myleene Klass on the harp for a traditional Welsh folk song.

Folksinger Josie Duncan performed two melodies while the evening included performances of Bach's Cello Suite No 1 and Mendelssohn's Piano Trio No 1 featuring student musicians from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, of which The Duke is Patron.

A world premiere of Twilight Falls on Temple View, written by Welsh composer Paul Mealor about Dumfries House, was also being performed on the night.