King and Queen Kick Off Edinburgh’s 900th Anniversary Celebrations with Vintage Whisky and Cultural Festivities

Edinburgh, UK - The King and Queen commenced Edinburgh’s 900th anniversary celebrations in style, sampling a vintage whisky that left Queen Camilla remarking, “That hit the spot.”

The royal couple’s official visit to the Scottish capital concluded with a vibrant showcase of Edinburgh's rich heritage and its modern, progressive spirit. The festivities included a Bollywood-style dance performance set against the historic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.

Among the highlights of their visit was the opportunity to taste a “dram” of Macallan single malt Scotch whisky. As they toured various stalls featuring diverse exhibitors—from the charity Barnardo’s to a merino wool producer with live sheep—Camilla took a sip of the 52-year-old single malt and declared, “That hit the spot, that hit the spot.”

Receiving a ceremonial welcome to the castle, Charles and Camilla enjoyed a performance by Ihayami, a dance troupe of Scottish women with Asian heritage, who danced to the accompaniment of traditional Scottish bagpipe music. Charles engaged with the group afterward, and dancer Eshita Danouri expressed, “This is our way of paying homage to our roots and recognizing our Scottish heritage.”

The celebration attracted notable guests, including broadcaster Gail Porter, an Edinburgh native, who returned to join the festivities. Porter commented, “Edinburgh is beautiful, a stunning place. We’ve got a castle, we’ve got a palace, we’ve got the Royal Mile, and people are so extremely friendly.”

Sir Alexander McCall Smith, the renowned author of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, also attended. Recently knighted by King Charles for his contributions to literature, academia, and charity, McCall Smith read a poem about Edinburgh. His verse celebrated the city’s illustrious Royal Mile and the intellectual renaissance of the 18th-century Scottish Enlightenment.

In his poem, McCall Smith reflected on the city's historical contributions to philosophy and enlightenment: “Not all that long ago, along the descending street That runs down the spine of this hill, This town opted for enlightenment, And happened to have sufficient philosophers To make Paris and elsewhere take note; For suddenly the lights were switched on And Edinburgh said to a listening world: ‘This is how we should live, if light is to be our guide, if we are to live well.’ The Old Town’s thinkers made a good job of that.”

Before concluding their visit, the King and Queen cut a Madeira cake crafted by Peter Sawkins, the 2020 Great British Bake Off winner. The impressive cake, adorned with Italian meringue buttercream and raspberry jam, was well-received by the royal couple. Sawkins shared, “The King and Queen enjoyed the look of the cake, and I gave them a bag of shortbread I made to take home.”

The celebration marked a memorable start to Edinburgh’s 900th anniversary, blending historical reverence with contemporary cultural expressions.

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