The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay: One Day, Two Very Different Ways

  June 10, 2009 at 7:15 pm by

Earlier this month on a on a visit to Scotland the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay conducted two very different engagements in one day with projects dear to their hearts.

At the launch of an eco friendly education centre Charles took the opportunity to share the difficulties of being an unwitting trailblazing eco warrior. Long before most of us (Boomers) had given a passing thought to the ramifications of oodles of chemical “improving” our veggies . . . we were just happy to cut down on the slugs and weeds, chopping down trees because they were in the way. Charles,on the other hand, was taking a hiding to nothing with the abuse heaped on his unsuspecting head. That he finds it in him to share about “the enormous degree of abuse” this engendered with any degree of equanimity and come out the other side with wit and humour to encourage his fellow gardeners- and budding environmentalistseco, says a lot about the man he has become. That he and the Duchess then proceeded to “get down and dirty” planting trees is just the cherry on top of the icing on the cake!

Their other engagement that day was what is fast becoming their best double act, a morale-boosting visit to the troops. In this case at the Black Watch’s Barracks at Fort George to greet the families of Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (of which Charles is Royal Colonel), who left in March for a six-month tour.

Charles and Camilla really seem to shine at these engagements. They have an awareness of just what is involved when “Royalty” visit a military installation. They fully appreciate the knife edge creases and the highly spit-, and I really do mean spit, polished shoes. They know about the freshly white-washed concrete verges around lawns manicured within an inch of their lives.

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They move easily about talking and sharing with both soldiers and their dependants right up to the ease with which Camilla made a playful poke at a toddler and ended up getting her nose right-royally tweaked by said toddler. Well I guess turn-about is fair play. I can easily imagine the moment of sheer horror the Mum felt when her child responded so uninhibitedly, and the relief at Camilla’s (Grandmotherly?) amused response.

But that’s just it, Charles is the son of a father and the father of a son who has served under fire and Camilla’s background has given her a unique insight into the plight of military families, and they get it! More than that, the soldiers and their families know they get it, and they are really stoked that they care enough to take the time to share with they, who are to a large degree, invisible. Let’s face it, whenever there’s a news item about our soldiers in Afghanistan or other theater of war, who takes the time to remember that there is probably a wife, three kids, two cats, one dog and several hamsters also involved on the home front? Charles and Camilla, that’s who!

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