A day fit for Royalty in the Borders
Published 12 Sep 2012 09:30 1 Comment
THE BORDERS played host to a royal visit yesterday as Princess Anne arrived in the region to represent the Queen.
Upon her arrival in Melrose the town came to a standstill and she attended a Thanksgiving service and lunch at the Parish Church.
Here she also met the Lord-Lieutenants of Roxburgh, Ettrick & Lauderdale, Berwickshire and Tweeddale.
Her Royal Highness wore a royal blue coat, black leather boots, navy gloves and hangbag with a blue hat throughout the occasion.
As well as enjoying the Jubilee church service, the Princess had a walkabout towards Gibson Park where she was presented with a posy by primary one school pupil Calum Henderson.
She met with local festival principals including the Braw Lad and Lass from Galashiels, Selkirk's Royal Burgh Standard Barer, the Lauder Cornet and the Melrosian.
And to round off the Melrose visit, she awarded two British Empire Medals to Elizabeth Brown, for services to the community of Ayton, and John Falla, for services to the rural economy.
Scottish Borders Council Convenor Graham Garvie said: "We are delighted that Her Royal Highness Princess Royal agreed to attend this important Celebratory Service to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
"The attendance of over 600 Borderers at this service is indicative to the warmth the Borders people have for Her Majesty and the outstanding service which she has given to our country over so many years."
And immediately after her duties at Melrose had been carried out, the Princess Royal was flown out to Peeblesshire.
She planted a wild cherry tree at Glen Estate, near Cardrona, to mark the creation of Grieston Hill Diamond Jubilee Wood - one of 60 Diamond Woods that are being created across the UK to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
The 84 acre site will be occupied by trees native to Scotland, including birch, ash, oak and rowan.
The Princess Royal donned a pair of Adidas sports sunglasses for the less formal occasion.
Glen Estate owner Tessa Tennant was thrilled to have Princess Anne plant the first tree.
She said: "I was asked - along with loads of other landowners - about this about two years ago, and the first thing I said was 'Yes, we're in!', so I'm glad.
"I'm all for planting trees because I'm concerned about climate change, and planting trees is one way of addressing the problem.
"And to do that while celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee is just fantastic."
She added: "I'm thrilled, absolutely thrilled, that Princess Anne could be here today. It's quite a trek up here - to Grieston Hill - so it's great that she's made the effort to support the woodland trust and what we're doing here.
"And the thing I'm really thrilled about here is that we can see Innerleithen really well, and anyone walking up here will get the fantastic views. But also, Innerleithen can see the wood growing - so that ongoing conversation about the woodland will go on."
Woodland Trust Scotland director, Carol Evans, said: "We're delighted that this site here has been chosen. The woodland trust is working with Princess Anne to make it the success it is. We've been helping landowners to celebrate the day across all of Scotland.
"This one was picked in the application process because of its spectacular setting and because we already have forests here - but not native conifer forests. There are forests to each side of the hill but this big gap in the middle.
The aim is to turn the forest into an outdoor classroom to be used by children and people of all ages to explore and spend time in."
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Sep 12, 10:50
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