Royal couple William and Kate - or The Earl and Countess of Strathearn – savoured the delights of a traditional village fete today in the beautiful village of Forteviot, Perth and Kinross.
They were welcomed to Forteviot by the Lord Lieutenant Brigadier Melville Jamieson, Lady Georgina Bullough DL and Lord Forteviot, the local landlord and Grandson of John Alexander Dewar who rebuilt the village in the 1920s in the style of an English Garden Village.
Forteviot has royal connections which date back to King Kenneth Mac Alpin who is said to have died at the palace of Forteviot in AD 858. The royal associations are further borne out by an inscription on the Dupplin Cross which names Constantine son of Fergus – King of the Picts from 789 – 820.
The royal couple toured a special farmer’s market showcasing the talents and tastes of Strathearn and learned of the role played by Dupplin Estate in the community.
Prince William was tempted by sizzling organic burgers at the Hugh Grierson Organics stand while the Countess enjoyed the plants on display at the Greenhill Nursery stall. There were also stands celebrating the conservation and community organisations working in the area. The Earl was introduced to Bill McIntosh at the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association stall. Bill McIntosh has worked on Dupplin Estate for the past 33 years.
The royal couple then met children from Forteviot Primary School who were demonstrating the woodwork skills they learned from Jim Thomson, forester at Dupplin, and inspected farm machinery used on the surrounding farmland. A special moment came for Dave Dutch who was presented with his Royal Highland Agricultural Society of Scotland Long Service Medal (for 30 years’ service on
Dupplin Estate) by the Earl, himself a farming enthusiast.
Alexander Dewar, owner of Dupplin Estate, said: “This was a delightful day for everyone in the local community and it also afforded the estate the opportunity to show how we are part of the fabric of the community.”
The large crowd that turned out to see the royal couple in Forteviot were treated to Scottish Country Dancing performed by girls from the nearby Kilgraston prep School and more contemporary dance from the younger children at Forteviot Primary. They were also entertained by the Willie Simpson Ceilidh band and the Brass Central Strathearn Band.
The Forteviot Village hall, normally host to fitness classes and a range of community events, had laid on a special exhibition for the weekend to showcase the artistic talents of the Strathearn Community. A display of Strathearn history by the Auchterarder and Local History Association was combined with an arts and craft exhibition organised by Perthshire Open Studios in collaboration with Strathearn Artists. The Countess also met Mrs Marion Foster, Leader of the Guild of Kiltmakers who presented the Couple with a traditionally made kilt for Prince George in Strathearn Muted Tartan.
The royal couple departed from their memorable visit to Forteviot escorted by the young riders of the Strathearn Pony Club who had triumphed at the 2013 Horse of the Year Show, beating all-comers across the UK to win the Prince Philip Cup for Pony Club Games.
Dupplin Estate is a member of Scottish Land & Estates.