Borderers prepare to welcome royal visitor the Duke of Rothesay to region

Borders businesses are preparing to welcome a royal visitor next week as the His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales makes his first visit to the region in around six years.

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 12:00 am
The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay visit Heriot Watt University in Galashiels on their last visit to the Borders in 2013.

The Duke of Rothesay, as he is known when in Scotland, will focus most of his visit on Friday, November 1, in and around Hawick before heading to Melrose and St Boswells.

Prince Charles will be given a tour of Scott and Charters Knitwear’s factory in Hawick, where he will see the mill in action and officially open the new factory, the first to be built in the town in 40 years.

A Scott and Charters spokesman said: “We are honoured that on his visit to the Borders next week Prince Charles the Duke of Rothesay will officially open our new Fairhurst Drive factory.

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“We are excited to say the least.”

He’ll then attend a reception in the Duke Street workspace of family-owned knitwear firm Hawico, to celebrate the knitwear industry and meet business representatives from the Famously Hawick initiative.

His Royal Highness will be given a tour of Hawick town centre during which he will be shown various buildings, visit local shops and meet townsfolk.

From there it’s onwards to St Boswell’s for a visit to The Mainstreet Trading Company. He will be welcomed to the former auction house, now a bookshop, deli, cafe and home store, and greeted by staff and local youngsters.

Rosamund de la Hey, who owns Main Street Trading Company alongside husband Bill, said: “We are very excited for his visit and are honoured to be given the chance to welcome him to the area.

“We have got lots of our lovely deli supplies ordered and local author Margaret Skea coming in. We’ll also have nursery children from St Boswells Primary coming to show him around our book shop van. He will be meeting staff and customers too, so it’s very exciting.”

The Duke of Rothesay will then head to Old Melrose where he will open environmental charity Tweed Forum’s new office at the Dairy Steading.

He will meet farmers, representatives of the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution, and be given a tour of the area.

James Hepburne Scott, Tweed Forum chairman, said; “We are delighted that His Royal Highness will officially open Tweed Forum’s new offices and are greatly looking forward to telling him about our partnership approach to the management of the river, which is delivering significant environmental benefits.

“Together with all of our partners, we share a passion for this important river and it will be a privilege to tell His Royal Highness about the work we carry out to protect and conserve it.”

The Duke of Rothesay is no stranger to the Borders and his previous visits to the region include his 1980 visit to the old Exacta Circuits factory in Selkirk, a bottle bank in Galashiels, an animal breeding research centre at Blythbank and a knitwear factory in Innerleithen.

He visited Abbotsford House in October 2011, and the School of Textile and Design at Heriot Watt University, Galashiels, in 2013.