The visit to Orkney by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has been warmly welcomed by the county’s Lord Lieutenant and the Leader of Orkney Islands Council.
During their time in Orkney, the Royal couple officially opened The Balfour and travelled aboard a Royal Navy patrol vessel to see Orbital Marine Power’s O2 tidal turbine, which recently arrived in local waters ready for testing at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).
The Duke and Duchess also thoroughly enjoyed a chance encounter and chat with children and staff from Glaitness Nursery, a magical moment that will be long remembered by all involved!
Lord Lieutenant Elaine Grieve said: “It was an honour and a privilege to have welcomed The Duke and Duchess to Orkney.
“It was lovely to see them officially open the new hospital we’re all so proud of. It was very fitting that this wonderful facility – and the NHS staff who provide such a tremendous service for our community – should receive Royal recognition in this way. This has been a great day that will live long in the memory.”
Council Leader James Stockan said: “It was a real pleasure to play a part in welcoming The Duke and Duchess on their first visit to Orkney.
“I am very pleased that the official opening of The Balfour was followed by a visit to another highly impressive facility – the world’s most powerful tidal turbine.
“This was an opportunity for The Duke and Duchess to witness for themselves how our islands are playing a world leading role in the development of state-of-the-art clean energy technologies. Our Royal visitors were clearly impressed by everything they saw during their time in Orkney.”
During their visit, The Duke and Duchess dropped in for a chat with Wilma and Alan Bichan in the garden of their home in Kirkwall, along with their son and daughter in law Nicky and Kirsten Bichan, and grandchildren Ellie (12), Sophie (9) and Gregor (7).
Wilma said: “We were delighted to welcome the Royal couple to our home and enjoyed chatting over a cup of tea and a Fattie Cuttie.
“They asked us about our family’s day to day life in Orkney, in particular the challenges over the last year and our long association over three generations with St Magnus Cathedral. Our grandchildren were so excited and we all enjoyed every minute of their visit.”