Prince William headed to Scotland ahead of his wife, Kate Middleton, on Friday to kick off the couple’s latest royal tour. While the Duchess of Cambridge won’t join the tour until Monday, William arrived over the weekend to attend his first engagement as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, People reports.
It marks the first time William has carried out the role since being appointed to it by his grandmother, Queen Elizebeth, in 2020 (last year’s General Assembly was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic). The Duke of Cambridge kicked off his visit with a lengthy speech, in which he spoke of what an honor the appointment was and delivered some personal remarks about the special meaning—in both sad and joyous ways—Scotland has to him. It was, as William explained in his speech, the place he was when he learned that his mother, Princess Diana, had died, as well as the place where he first met his now-wife, Kate Middleton.
“Scotland is incredibly important to me and will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve been coming to Scotland since I was a small boy. Scotland is the source of some of my happiest memories. But also, my saddest,” William said in his speech, explaining that he was at Balmoral “when I was told that my mother had died.”
“And yet alongside this painful memory, is one of great joy. Because it was here in Scotland–twenty years ago this year–that I first met Catherine. Needless to say, the town where you meet your future wife holds a very special place in your heart,” he added. “George, Charlotte and Louis already know how dear Scotland is to both of us, and they are starting to build their own happy memories here too. We have no doubt they will grow up sharing our love and connection to Scotland from the Highlands to the Central Belt, from the Islands to the Borders.”
Here, we’ve compiled all of the must-see photos from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 2021 tour of Scotland.
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