After a very busy day in Edinburgh, on Tuesday, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge travelled to the Northeast Coast of Scotland and visited Orkney for the first time. The Earl and Countess of Strathearn undertook a series of engagement in the Scottish city. The couple left the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh via helicopter. The Palace of Holyroodhouse is The Queen’s official residence in Scotland and William and Catherine’s base for the tour.
The first stop of the day was Kirkwall. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge officially opened The £65 million NHS Balfour Hospital in Kirkwall. The new hospital, which opened in 2019, replaced the old hospital, which had served the community for 90 years. The Royal couple thanked the staff for their hard work.
The new hospital has enabled the repatriation of many NHS services from the Scottish mainland, allowing Orkney’s population to receive most of their healthcare at home. The building’s circular design is based on the 5000-year-old Neolithic settlement, Skara Brae, making it a unique reflection of the local landscape in which many historical sites are circles. Skara Brae is one of the biggest tourist attraction of Orkney. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge unveiled a plaque to formally open the new hospital.
It was a huge privilege to welcome Their Graces the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge @KensingtonRoyal to @NHSOrkney today. The patients and staff were thrilled to meet them and celebrate the opening of The Balfour Hospital https://t.co/8ueupeyhbr
— NHS Shetland CEO (@NHSShetlandCEO) May 25, 2021
The Earl and Countess of Strathearn received a very warm and cheerful welcome from the staff at the hospital. Kirkwall City Pipe Band played as the couple arrived to open the new Balfour Hospital. The Royal couple was given a private tour of the 16,000m2 hospital with 700 rooms which is the biggest construction on the island since its Catherdral was completed in 1168. From Evening Standard’s report,
Michael Dickson, CEO of the Orkney NHS Board, said afterwards: “It is first time a Lord High Commissioner has been to Orkney and William said he was delighted that had been noted on the plaque.”
During the visit William, 38, praised trauma nurse Dr Tariro Gandiya. He said: “It must he reassuring to know we are all in this together.” Kate added: “Well done”.
Paul Maguire, catering assistant, spoke to Kate and William in the hospital’s sensory garden.
He said afterwards: “We spoke about how it has been in the last year and I explained how we split into two teams so I hadn’t seen most of my colleagues till now. Its been tough.
He asked what the most popular meal was and I told him it was macaroni cheese.”
They were also met at the hospital by Meghan McEwen Chairman of NHS Orkney, Alistair Carmichael MP for Orkney and Shetland and Liam McArthur MSP.
On the way to the next stop, The Royal couple stopped off at a local family, the Bichans, for a cuppa. Sitting in the family garden, they learnt how the locals have coped with the pandemic and mental health in the past year.
The next stop of the day was the European Marine Energy Centre, Stromness- the only accredited wave and tidal test centre for marine renewable energy in the world. The centre is pioneering the development of a green hydrogen economy in Orkney after setting up a hydrogen production plant. The visit came ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference that is scheduled to take place in Glasgow in November this year.
Prince William and Catherine heard about the Centre’s role in tackling climate change and supporting the UK’s green recovery, from marine renewable energy generation to green hydrogen production and distribution. The Duke and Duchess also visited the fuel cell and hydrogen storage trailers at Kirkwall Pier, which take locally produced hydrogen and reconvert it back to electricity, before heading out to sea to see the world’s largest tidal energy turbine.
The couple then boarded a boat to visit the 2MW ‘O2 to see the workings of the turbine and CEO Andy Scott offered them whisky to bless the Orbital Marine Power tidal energy turbine. The tidal substation sits next to a hydrogen production plant that opened in 2016. William threw over the whisky on the side of the vessel to bless the tidal energy turbine.
Outside the EMEC, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a quick walkabout.
From the Daily Mail’s report,
At one point a confident little boy pointed at the Duchess and asked: ‘Are you the prince?,’ prompting her to lean down and respond: ‘No, I’m not the prince, I’m the Duchess of Cambridge… Lots of people call me Catherine.’
Moving down the row, Kate asked a little girl: ‘Are you a princess?’ When the shy little girl looked down and said ‘no’. Kate continued: ‘Well you look like one in your beautiful pink coat.’
The mother-of-three then turned to the wider group to say: ‘It’s very nice to meet you. Have you been having a look at all the boats?’
At the same time Prince William was busy speaking to the children at the other end of the line – at one point kicking up his feet to compare shoes.
A video of the day.
For the first part of the day, The Duchess of Cambridge chose a beige and brown look.
She was wearing her Massimo Dutti Limited Edition Button Cashmere Wool Camel Coat in January 2020 when she visited Cardiff and Surrey to launch 5 Big Questions Survey.
Underneath the coat, The Duchess of Cambridge was wearing Temperley London Cordial Sleeved Knit Top with and UFO beige trousers and a matching belt. Thanks to Emily Collins on Twitter for the id. The £190 ribbed knit top is spun from metallic lurex yarn in glittery gold and glistens in the light. Cut in a round neck with statement bell sleeves. Currently available in all sizes.
The Duchess of Cambridge was carrying a Strathearn Tartan scarf from DC Dalgliesh. Crafted from Strathearn Tartan, the scarf symbolises The Duchess’s Scottish title ‘The Countess of Strathearn’. The Scotweb offers an £85.00 scarf substitute in wool on Clan’s website.
Catherine was carrying Emmy London Natasha Saddle Clutch – a new addition to her wardrobe. Thanks to British Royal Fashion Data on Twitter for the id.
Another new element of the outfit was Emmy London’s Josie Suede Pumps in saddle tone.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore her Hamilton & Inches Flora Drop Earrings.
For the second leg of the visit, The Duchess of Cambridge had a quick change of outfit. She was wearing her Seeland Woodcock Advanced Women’s Jacket debuted in April 2021 when she visited County Durham.
Underneath the jacket, she wore a green Holland Cooper Country Shoulder-Panel Knit Sweater.
nd Brora Dobby Spot Cotton Blouse. Thanks to Georgie’s Mom on Twitter for the id. The £119 blouse featuring a pie crust collar has little textured dots and slightly frilled cuffs. It has a front button fastening with long sleeves.
She was wearing blue jean and her See by Chloe Leather-Trimmed Suede Ankle Boots.