The Queen was described as a “proud mum” as she viewed the work to transform a derelict Ballater shop into a royal restaurant and gift shop yesterday during her visit to the village.
Earlier this month, the Press and Journal revealed that plans by Prince Charles’s Dumfries House Trust to convert the former Co-op on Netherley Place had been approved by Aberdeenshire Council.
Huge progress has already been made to get the restaurant and shop – named the Rothesay Rooms – up and running.
Yesterday the Queen was given a first-look inside the outlet, which will be a “pop-up” enterprise bearing the Duke of Rothesay’s Highgrove brand.
Signs were placed on the outer walls of the building prior to the Queen’s arrival.
She was met by spokesman for the Dumfries House Trust and Doric musician and entertainer, Robert Lovie.
Mr Lovie – who sings God Save the Queen to the monarch at every Braemar Gathering – updated her on the project’s progress.
She was shown around the soon-to-be restaurant area and the newly-fitted kitchen, where Mr Lovie gave her a glance at the prospective menu.
Mr Lovie said: “We are absolutely delighted. It is great to have the Queen here. The project is being led by Prince Charles’s flood appeal. She seemed very keen every time I spoke about the project, very keen. I think she was incredibly proud.
“She came in and saw what we have been doing here. We’ll be doing a lot of training for young people in hospitality and we will be employing local people both in the in the shop and the restaurant.
“We are hoping it is going to keep tourists coming in.
“We think the restaurant and shop will do that, we are getting inquiries about the restaurant already.”
The Rothesay Rooms is due to open in early October.