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Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall paid a visit to Skye last Thursday, September 16, where they enjoyed some Gaelic entertainment, a stroll around Dunvegan Castle and Gardens and some fish and chips washed down with a wee dram.
The royal couple, whose formal titles in Scotland are the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, were visiting various businesses in Portree as part of a larger tour with Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Joanie Whiteford.
The Duke and Duchess were introduced to Organic Sea Harvest staff and three other business owners outside the Rosedale Hotel in Portree.
After the Duke had been given a dram of whisky and the royals had been treated to a Gaelic song from Mòd Gold Medallist Robert Robertson, they met with Organic Sea Harvest’s co-founders Alister Mackinnon and Alex MacInnes, and Chief Operating Officer Robert Wyvill.
The Duke has long been an advocate of organic farming, previously owning a 1,000-acre plot of farmland for 35 years, a farm he transformed to become completely organic in 1985.
Alex said: ‘The Duke asked about our salmon farming methods, including our stocking density and how we handle sea lice.
‘It was a pleasure to talk to someone so knowledgeable and interested in our mission to create top-quality, organic salmon. He was very positive and commented on our sustainability.’
Alister presented the royals with freshly smoked, organic salmon, harvested the previous day from Organic Sea Harvest’s Invertote farm and cold-smoked at the Isle of Skye Smokehouse.
This was the royal couple’s first trip to the island since 2009 and they made the most of their return visit.
During their time on the the island, they also tucked into fish and chips provided by Portree fisherman Dan Corrgiall’s shop.
Hugh MacLeod of MacLeod, 30th Chief of Clan MacLeod, hosted a tour of his ancestral home of Dunvegan Castle where the royal couple went to view the results of 13 years of major investment in numerous restoration projects and improvements to the castle and gardens.
The royal party began their tour in the walled garden, where they were greeted by Hugh MacLeod, who presented his partner Lucy Howard-Taylor, and members of the castle gardening team.
Ingrid Galbraith, head gardener, and former retired head gardener David MacLean accompanied the couple around the three formal areas of the castle gardens before Their Royal Highnesses viewed the extensive interior restoration programme that has been undertaken in all the public areas of the castle since 2008.
Musicians from the Gaelic college provided entertainment with a short recital in the castle’s dining room.
The Royal tour ended on the castle’s gun court, where Hugh MacLeod and Their Royal Highnesses spent some time discussing the challenging conservation issues facing historic buildings.
Mr MacLeod said: ‘It was a great pleasure to welcome Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, to Dunvegan Castle and Gardens, and to have an opportunity to show them the fruits of all the hard work the estate staff and our dedicated team of external contractors have put in over the last 13 years.’
HRH The Duke of Rothesay also presented an MBE to Mrs Pat Walsh, who was accompanied by her family and friends.