Queen visits Scotland for first time since Duke's death

Published
media captionThe Queen met staff as she toured the AG Barr bottling plant

The Queen has arrived for her first official visit to Scotland since the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

The 95-year-old monarch visited the Irn-Bru headquarters in Cumbernauld on Monday as part of Royal Week, also known as Holyrood Week.

She officially opened the factory's new process facility and met employees.

The Queen was joined by Prince William, known as the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland, who tried some Irn-Bru at AG Barr's factory.

Irn-Bru was launched in 1901 and has become an iconic brand in Scotland, rivalling whisky as the country's national tipple.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionPrince William tries Irn-Bru during a visit to the AG Barr factory in Cumbernauld, where the drink is made
image copyrightPA Media
image captionThe Queen and Prince William arrived at the Irn-Bru factory on Monday morning

Holyrood Week usually takes place each summer as the Queen and members of the Royal Family undertake visits across Scotland.

The annual trip was cancelled last year because of the pandemic.

Over the next four days, the monarch will carry out in-person engagements, celebrating Scottish community, innovation and history.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionThe Queen spent time with AG Barr chief executive Roger White while visiting the bottling plant

The Queen is staying at the Palace of Holyroodhouse during her trip, although Covid restrictions will affect some of the planned events.

Traditional functions such as hosting thousands of people at the Holyroodhouse garden party will not take place, in line with government guidelines.

It is the Queen's first trip to Scotland since the death of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, in April.

Prince Philip had a long and close association with Scotland which dated back to his school days in the 1930s.

He attended Gordonstoun in Moray, and he and the Queen were regular visitors to the Balmoral estate in Royal Deeside for many decades.

He was chancellor of Edinburgh University for more than 50 years, and also founded the Duke of Edinburgh Award to celebrate the achievements of young people.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionThe Queen unveiled a plaque during her visit to AG Barr's factory

Ahead of the Queen's visit, Buckingham Palace published a series of tweets on Sunday, emphasising her long-standing links to Scotland.

It said: "Tomorrow, The Queen will arrive in Scotland for #RoyalWeek2021"

"Royal Week, or 'Holyrood Week', takes place each Summer as The Queen and Members of the Royal Family undertake visits across Scotland celebrating Scottish culture, achievement and communities.

"Her Majesty is connected to Scotland by ancestry and deeply held affection. As well as spending family Summers at Balmoral Castle, The Queen has visited almost every area of Scotland from the Outer Hebrides to Dumfries, meeting Scots from all walks of life."