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Youngsters at Highland school to tuck into Christmas cake donated by Duke of Rothesay

The Duke of Rothesay has donated the cake to the school, keeping up a tradition started by the Queen Mother 66 years ago
The Duke of Rothesay has donated the cake to the school, keeping up a tradition started by the Queen Mother 66 years ago

The pandemic has again failed to break a 66-year festive link between a Highland primary school and the Royal family.

Pupils at Crossroads School – the most northerly on the British mainland – look forward to getting a Christmas cake from Prince Charles every year.

The tradition was started after the Queen Mother bought the Castle of Mey and had her staff at Clarence House bake a cake for the kids at Dunnet School.

It continued after Dunnet was replaced by Crossroads in 1969, and after the Queen Mum died in 2002 when the Duke of Rothesay took over.

In recent years, the heir-to-the-throne has arranged for the cake to be baked and decorated at the Caithness castle, which he uses as a summer holiday getaway.

Crossroads’ youngest pupil, Ellie Fogarty-Macdonald, five, and the oldest, 11-year-old Christina Page, get a sneak preview of the cake. Pic supplied by Grant News Agency

Wreath design allows kids to tuck in despite Covid

Coronavirus-enforced restrictions had put a big question mark over whether the treat would be possible but, as last year, a safe way to retain the tradition was found.

Jenny Dunnet basked the cake at the castle and delivered it today ahead of the formal unveiling at the school’s Christmas lunch tomorrow. It will be divided up between the 13 pupils.

In the shape of a red and green traditional Christmas wreath, it features 13 decorations – one for each pupil.

Crossroads head teacher Pauline Pearson said: “If it was going to be the usual big cake, we would have had to quarantine it after it arrived.

“But Jenny has made it so the cake easily separates into discrete sections for the pupils to take away.”

“We’re again very grateful to His Royal Highness for the cake and the children’s faces lit up when we showed it to them.”

The pupils will send thank you letters to Clarence House and pictures of themselves enjoying their pieces of cake.

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