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Earlier this week, Prince William made a speech about his love of Scotland and shared how he and Kate are already making memories there with their three children. And today the Prince was given some Scottish mementos for his family as he spent the day in Edinburgh visiting faith-based community organizations.
During his first stop to see the work of charity the Grassmarket Community Project, which supports vulnerable people through social enterprise, the Prince was presented with a selection of gifts made by the charity’s members. “We made him a lovely little gift set, something for all the kids and something for the Duchess,” charity CEO Jonny Kinross said afterwards.
Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis each received a toy tartan Greyfriars Bobby dog which had been personalized with their names. Kate’s present was a brooch made from Greyfriars tartan fabric in the shape of a rose. Saying how William “loved” the gifts, Kinross also shared that a wooden quaich was included in the gift set, which is a small bowl traditionally used ceremonially. “We made it in the woodwork shop, it’s gorgeous and he loved that,” Kinross said.
The charity has been developed in partnership with Greyfriars Kirk, a church which first opened its doors in 1620 and continues to serve the community. This part of Edinburgh has become known for the story of Greyfriars Bobby, a terrier who became famous for refusing to leave his owner's graveside after he died in 1858. A life-sized statue of the terrier now sits on a fountain in the area, and memorabilia of the legendary dog can be purchased.
During his visit, William visited the center’s workshop, where church pews and other responsibly sourced wood are used to make furniture. The Prince tried his hand at some sawing. “It was a bit nerve-wracking to watch him,” Kinross joked. “That was the nice thing though, he took part, he participated, he was up for it.”
Kinross described William as having come across “really well” during the visit, adding, “He comes across as somebody who most people would get along with, and I’m sure that will help him as he goes forward.”
Catherine Jones, the charity’s director of social enterprises, described William as “very pleasant.” She added, “We’re a very small standalone charity, so it was a real honour...It’s good for getting our name out there so that people know we exist.”
The Grassmarket Community Project has a program of activities including literacy, IT, gardening, art, music, drama, walking, yoga, and mindfulness.
Charity member John, who has been involved with the charity for three and a half years and was accessing online groups during the lockdown, said, “I live mostly by myself so I feel a bit isolated so coming here I get to meet different people and hare different experiences.” He said about William, “We spoke about how lockdown is going for everybody, how important the sense of community is.” He added, “If somebody hadn’t told me it was Prince William, the future king, to me he was just like a regular guy. He’d obviously done his research, which is good as it shows his interest.”
Jonny Kinross described William as a “very good listener.”
“You could tell he was really listening because he was picking up on little details about people...He showed empathy and understanding as it’s been a tough year.”
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