The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay officially cut the ribbon on a renovated Victorian hotel, not far from the Queen’s summer retreat.
The Fife Arms in Braemar dates back to 1856, when it was used a coaching inn, and has been part of the fabric of the Deeside community ever since.
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It had, however, been closed for four years until it was purchased by Swiss art gallery owners Iwan and Manuela Wirth and brought back to life.
The hotel has undergone a multi-million-pound refurbishment and has been closed to guests while major work has been carried out.
Yesterday Prince Charles and Princess Camilla became among the first guests to view the renovations as they were given a tour of the hotel.
Mr Wirth said the royal couple were bowled over by the building, which they had already visited on three separate occasions during various stages of the restoration.
He said: “I think anything that champions local heritage and craftmanship is close to the duke’s heart.
“One of the first things we did when we bought the hotel was visit Dumfries House (the Prince’s Foundation headquarters) because it really sets the standard on community outreach and conservation of historic buildings.
“We spent a lot of time talking over the details on their trip and also the involvement of local people who have helped us achieve this crazy dream.”
The suites and bedrooms have all been individually designed and pay homage to the heritage of the area.
Meanwhile, the interiors house more than 14,000 historic objects, artworks and artefacts from the area and were designed by Russell Sage, who is known for his work at The Savoy in London.
Mr Wirth: “I think the duke was particularly impressed by the watercolours we have of Queen Victoria and the stag that John Brown shot.”
The couple, who own international art gallery Hauser & Wirth, also own the Invercauld Arms Hotel in the village.
In May, they donated £50,000 to Braemar arts venue St Margaret’s, helping to secure its future.