Their Majesties' work in Scotland

The King and Queen have spent considerable time in the country both carrying out public engagements and privately at their Birkhall residence on the Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire.

The King and Queen in Scotland

The King

His Majesty The King has a long standing relationship with Scotland, with much affection for the nation. In September 2022, The King spoke of his ‘great admiration’ for Scotland during an address to the Scottish Parliament.

The King in Scotland

In 2007, His Majesty, as The Duke of Rothesay, intervened to save Dumfries House, its unique contents and estate for the wider nation. Dumfries House, found in East Ayrshire, now undertakes heritage-led regeneration programmes in the local area and elsewhere in Scotland. In 2017, Their Majesties, as Their Royal Highnesses, marked the 10th anniversary of Dumfries House, joining guests from local community groups.

Meanwhile, the estate has been developed into a hub for many of The King’s charitable activities, most notably The Prince’s Foundation, combining programmes in heritage, culture, and community education.

The King at Dumfries House

The Prince’s Trust has also had a lasting impact on Scotland since it was founded in 1976. In 2016, as Duke of Rothesay, The King opened Scotland’s largest youth employment and enterprise hub, The Prince’s Trust Wolfson Centre in Glasgow. The Prince’s Trust Scotland now has over 1,000 committed volunteers across the nation, working with 32 local authorities to enable young people to achieve the success they deserve.

The King visits the Prince's Trust Scotland

In 2015, as Prince, The King launched the North Highland Initiative (NHI) to support the remote and rural areas of the North of Scotland.

The King, as The Duke of Rothesay, was Patron of several Scottish organisations, such as the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Glasgow School of Art and the Gordon Highlanders Museum. As King, His Majesty continues to champion many Scottish organisations.

His Majesty has attended many national events held in Scotland, including COP26, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Opening of the Scottish Parliament.

The King, The Queen and The Princess Royal at the Highland Games

During Holyrood Week last year, His Majesty attended a Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, attended the Reddendo Parade of the Royal Company of Archers and visited the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

The Queen

Her Majesty The Queen was appointed Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen in 2013. In a speech to mark the tenth anniversary of her installation as Chancellor, Her Majesty reflected on her connections to Scotland, noting “Coming to this University, and to this city, has always felt a bit like coming home to me. Firstly, because my Father’s family came from this part of Scotland, secondly, because my husband and I are lucky enough to spend precious time each year in Aberdeenshire and finally, because ten years ago, I received the great honour of being installed as Chancellor of this very special University.”

The Queen and The Princess Royal at the University of Aberdeen

As Duchess of Rothesay, Her Majesty became President of Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres, founded in Edinburgh in 1996 and now with centres across Scotland, England and Wales. The Queen has visited the Maggie’s centres in Edinburgh, Dundee, Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen.

Her Majesty continues to act as Patron or President of a number of charities based in Scotland, including Crathie Opportunity Holidays, Scotland’s Gardens Scheme and Horseback UK, as well as being an honorary member of the local Ballater Women’s Institute and the Upper Deeside Art Society.

The Queen visits Maggie's in Edinburgh

Since her marriage to The then Duke of Rothesay, Her Majesty has worked to highlight causes close to her heart in Scotland, with a particular focus on organisations that support women and victims of sexual and domestic violence, including South Ayrshire Women’s Aid and Target Ovarian Cancer.

The Queen has also championed the Arts in Scotland, visiting the Ballater Gallery, Burns Cottage in Alloway, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, the Nairn Book & Arts Festival, the inaugural Braemar Literary Festival and Peter Pan Moat Brae. She has recorded poems to mark Burns Night, has named the scenery around Lochnagar as her favourite view and in 2021 interviewed the author Douglas Stuart, the second-ever Scot to win the Booker Prize. Her Majesty has also highlighted projects that promote children’s literacy, visiting schools across Scotland.

The King and Queen at Burns Cottage

Her Majesty cherishes her relationships with military units based in Scotland, including 3 Rifles and HMS Astute, and in 2017 launched HMS Prince of Wales in Rosyth Dockyard, smashing a bottle of Laphroaig whisky against the ship's hull.

The Queen visits HMS Astute

The Queen has supported The King in visits to all corners of Scotland and joined him for many national moments including COP26, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Opening of the Scottish Parliament.