The Queen arrived in Scotland for her annual summer residence, Holyrood Week, on Monday—and we were treated to a pair of royal brooches during her first engagements!
Holyrood Week, or Royal Week, takes place annually at the end of June and beginning of July, when the Queen takes up residence at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. Buckingham Palace notes that, during the week, the Queen and other members of the royal family “undertake visits across Scotland celebrating Scottish culture, achievement and communities.” This year, the Duke of Cambridge (who is the Earl of Strathearn when in Scotland) and the Princess Royal will be joining the Queen for her Holyrood Week engagements.
On Monday, the Queen and Prince William kicked off the week with a visit to an important Scottish institution: the A.G. Barr factory in Cumbernauld. The factory has been making soft drinks, including Irn-Bru, for more than a century. The Queen officially opened a new process facility during the visit.
The Queen and Prince William toured the facility and met with employees during the visit. They were also given a chance to sample the company’s most famous product, Irn-Bru. Because, as Rebecca English noted, “The Queen is rarely seen eating or drinking in public,” the task of sampling the carbonated soft drink fell to William.
“That’s quite good, actually,” William offered after taking a sip. The recipe of the famous drink is a highly guarded secret.
For the visit to A.G. Barr, the Queen chose a favorite brooch. The Pearl Trefoil Brooch, set with diamonds and pearls, has been in her collection since at least the 1980s, and it’s worn for a range of occasions.
The next stop for the royals was the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official Scottish residence.
There, Prince William looked on as the Queen took part in the ancient Ceremony of the Keys. Each time the Queen visits Edinburgh, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh presents her with the keys to the city. Here, the keys are offered to HM on a crimson velvet cushion. Each time, she replies, “I return these keys, being perfectly convinced that they cannot be placed in better hands than those of the Lord Provost and Councillors of my good City of Edinburgh.”
The ceremony also gave the Queen an opportunity to chat with a familiar face: Alastair Bruce, the journalist, correspondent, and historian. Bruce has interviewed the Queen for television and has acted as a commentator for numerous royal occasions. He was also the historical consultant for Downton Abbey—and, in a more familial connection, he’s a godfather to Viscount Severn, the Queen’s youngest grandson. Major General Bruce was appointed Governor of Edinburgh Castle in 2019.
For the Ceremony of the Keys, the Queen wore the same outfit from her factory visit, but switched out her brooch. This is the gem-encrusted badge of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. The Queen is their Colonel-in-Chief. We featured this badge yesterday as one of the jewels often worn by the Queen when in Scotland.