Braemar Gathering fit for a new King
For the first time, he made his annual trip to the Braemar Gathering as King.
The gathered crowds fell momentarily still as King Charles III and Queen Camilla were driven into the games arena shortly after 3pm, followed by his sister the Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.
It was a journey made many times for the Royal Family, with the games a firm favourite of Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, but the first since the coronation of the new monarch.
Events were well underway by the time the Royal party arrived at The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park, which heaved with the sights and sounds of Highland dancers, pipe bands and heavy events.
Bouquets of heather were presented by two young Highland dancers to Queen Camilla and Princess Anne as they sat in the royal enclosure with King Charles presenting four trophies to winning competitor before his departure. The trophy for the best pipe band was presented to his old school, Gordonstoun.
The monarch wore the newly created King Charles III tartan for the event which was designed to mark the coronation “in recognition of His Majesty’s strong support in preserving the culture and traditions of highland dress and Scottish tartans".
A statement from the authority added: “The unique design presented to His Majesty, is based on the Balmoral tartan sett which dates from c.1850 and continues to be worn by the King and members of the royal family today.
“The new tartan has been officially registered with the Scottish register of tartans which is administered by the National Records of Scotland.
“The cloth, woven in 100% Scottish wool by Lochcarron of Scotland in Selkirk, includes a central triple stripe motif (one broad and two narrow) which is a feature of royal tartans previously worn by His Majesty including the Duke of Rothesay, Duke of Rothesay Hunting and Lord of the Isles Hunting tartans.
“The colours have been matched to the natural dyes of 18th century tartan specimens in the collection of the Scottish Tartans Authority.”
Traditionally, the monarch becomes chief of the Braemar Gathering, although Charles has not yet been announced as the new title holder.
The Braemar Gathering traditionally marks the close of the Royal summer break in Deeside with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expected to meet with the King at Balmoral over the weekend.
The visit to the royal estate comes ahead of Parliament returning from recess on Monday, with the late Queen creating the tradition of inviting the incumbent to Scotland for a weekend in the summer.
Meanwhile, plans for a permanent memorial to the late Queen and a national legacy programme in her honour will be unveiled in 2026 to mark what would have been Elizabeth II’s centenary year.
The Queen Elizabeth memorial committee will consider and recommend proposals for a “fitting tribute” to the nation’s longest-reigning monarch following her death in September last year.
It will be jointly supported by the Royal Household and the UK Government, which will consider funding options.