Tayside and Central Scotland

Crowds greet Prince William and Kate on Perthshire trip

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Media captionWilliam and Kate took a guided tour of the Glenturret distillery, and tasted some of its produce

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sampled whiskies and dropped in on a village fete in a visit to Perthshire.

William and Kate, also known as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn, started their day with a trip to the Strathearn Community Campus in Crieff.

The future king and his wife also visited the Glenturret distillery and unveiled a plaque in MacRosty Park before heading to Forteviot Fete.

It was the couple's first official visit to Scotland in over a year.

Hundreds of locals turned out to welcome the royals to Strathearn, with flag-waving crowds awaiting them at the community centre where they met volunteer groups, including the crew of the charity air ambulance.

Image caption The couple started their visit at the Strathearn Community Campus
Image caption The Duke met crew and inspected Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance

The Duke - a former search and rescue pilot - was shown the inside of the helicopter and showed a keen interest in the operation.

Plans are said to be under way for the Prince to join the East Anglian Air Ambulance service.

Lead paramedic John Pritchard, 46, said he would "certainly" be welcome to join the SCAA team.

"He was really keen, he asked us some fantastic questions about aviation," he said.

"It was really good engaging with him. His knowledge was superb.

"He is absolutely passionate about his flying and you can see he's a really caring person. I would imagine he would be keen to keep that going."

Image caption The Duke and Duchess met local dignitaries and charity groups at the community centre
Image caption Local schoolchildren presented the Duchess with a bouquet of flowers

The air ambulance crew gave the Prince a teddy bearing the service's logo to take home to their son, Prince George.

The Duchess was also presented with a bouquet of flowers while meeting a group of local schoolchildren.

During the hour they spent at the community centre, the Duke spoke with representatives of the Air Training Corps, the Sea Cadets, the Black Watch Army Cadets and the Boys' Brigade.

His wife meanwhile spent most of her time speaking to young members of the Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.

Image caption There was a warm welcome for the couple, known in Scotland as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn
Image caption Crowds turned out to greet the royal couple on their first official visit to Scotland for a year

The visit is the royal couple's first public engagement since their tour of Australia and New Zealand earlier this year.

However, on this occasion they have not been accompanied by their young son Prince George.

They were given the chance to bottle their own Glenturret malt at the country's oldest distillery, near Crieff, while officially opening a new visitor centre, the Famous Grouse Experience.

After a tour of the distillery, master blender Gordon Motion talked the pair through the different brands of whisky on offer, as well as a cask-strength Glenturret which the Duchess pronounced "delicious".

The royals also unveiled a plaque in the town's newly-restored MacRosty Park. Last year the grounds were designated a Queen Elizabeth II Field for the enjoyment of the residents of Crieff and the surrounding area.

And they rounded off their day by taking in stalls and meeting more local residents at the Forteviot village fete.

Image copyright STV (pool)
Image caption The royal couple were again greeted by schoolchildren in Forteviot
Image copyright STV (pool)
Image caption Prince William quizzed stall-holders at the Forteviot fete

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