Prince Charles has made a welcome return to John O’Groats in Scotland to don his kilt and act as ‘chieftain’ for the tug of war competition at the area’s Highland Games. Wearing his full Scottish regalia and beaming with excitement, the future King was spotted keeping a close eye on competitors in the several events
Prince Charles has made a welcome return to John O’Groats in Scotland to don his kilt and act as ‘chieftain’ for the tug of war competition at the area’s Highland Games.
Wearing his full Scottish regalia and beaming with excitement, the future King was spotted keeping a close eye on competitors in the several events that test strength, agility and technique.
The Prince, who is known as the Duke of Rothesay while in Scotland, also officiated the tug of war final between the Help for Heroes and Police Scotland teams, with the Help For Heroes eventually winning a case of beer for their efforts.
Ever the diligent royal, Charles also spent time talking to athletes and organisers in between events.
Prince Charles has made a welcome return to John O’Groats in Scotland to don his kilt and act as ‘chieftain’ for the tug of war competition at the area’s Highland Games He was spotted walking around the festival with a Prince of Wales branded walking stick
The Prince, known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, watches on as a competitor attempts to complete a caber-toss. The man must run forward with the wooden pole balanced over his shoulder before flipping it 180-degrees
The Police Scotland team compete in the final of the Mey Highland Games tug of war at the John O’Groats Showground in Caithness
At least it’s not another ribbon cutting ceremony! The prince drops down the rope in the final of the tug of war competition, held between Help For Heroes and Police Scotland teams
Organisers expected around 10,000 people to attend the day of activities, which includes competitions in wrestling, heavy weights, a tug-of-war and is finished off with a Highland dance.
The Mey Highland Games, which is now held in John O’Groats a 10-minute drive away, was first held to celebrate the Queen Mother’s 70th birthday, who encouraged organisers to continue with the event after hearing about it.
Charles now attends the event on a regular basis in memory of his grandmother, who passed away in 2002.
However, not every games has gone according to plan – with the weather proving a tough adversary.
After gales hit in 2008, the prince was unable to judge the tug-of-war because the man who was due to bring the rope failed to turn up, according to the Press and Journal.
The Prince of Wales kicks a post at the stongman stand as hundreds of spectators gather for the competition. Organisers expected around 10,000 people to flock the northerly showground for the one-day event
The Wick Pipe Band perform traditional song on bagpipes as part of the festivities
The prince watches strongman Luke Stoltman as he lifts heavy stones onto barrels in the heavy weights compeition
The prince makes light conservation with heavy lifter Luke Stoltman at one of the dozens of events going on
Dapper Duke: Charles puts on shades to read the highlights from the event programme
Ever the diligent royal, Charles spent time a lot of the day talking to athletes and organisers in between events
Victors! The Help For Heroes team lift up their prize for winning the tug of war competition: a crate of beer
Despite the wet conditions the prince has continued to return for officiate the event several times, and has seen the crowds grow in size.
The Prince’s own foundation has also contributed a ‘significant sum’ towards keeping the event running.
Robert Lovie, director of outreach for The Prince’s Foundation, told the Press and Journal: ‘His Royal Highness is well-known for his love of Caithness and its traditions.
‘Mey Games forms such a significant aspect of the cultural calendar and, as chieftain of the games and patron of the Scottish Highland Games Association, The Prince has always championed participation of competitors of all ages.
‘Through his charity The Prince’s Foundation, His Royal Highness has aided and advised local people to breathe new life into an event that, until a couple of years ago, was struggling to attract competitors and spectators.
‘Now, through this donation by The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund, he hopes to help secure the future of the games and ensure that the fantastic new organising committee is equipped to help the event go from strength to strength.’