Published: 28/09/2012 14:00 - Updated: 27/09/2012 17:38

Prince Charles coming to Speyside

PRINCE Charles will be on Speyside next weekend to join farmers from around the world in celebrating the proud history of the Aberdeen-Angus breed and its North-east roots.

The Duke of Rothesay, patron of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society, will visit the renowned Ballindalloch herd on Saturday, October 6, where he will meet a gathering of 150 breeders.

They have signed up for a five-day Ruby Anniversary tour, which will take in 16 herds and has been arranged to celebrate the North-east Aberdeen-Angus Club’s 40th anniversary.

A few days later, a Royal visitor is also expected at nearby Aberlour as part of its 200th anniversary celebrations. It is yet to be confirmed which member of the Royal family will be in the village on Tuesday, October 9.

The North-east Aberdeen-Angus Club’s chairman, Wendy Willox, Rhynie, said: "We are thrilled that His Royal Highness is joining us to view the Ballindalloch herd and meet delegates from all over the UK and Ireland, as well as from several overseas countries, who will be taking part in the tour."

Supported by feed technology company Richard Keenan, the Aberdeen-Angus tour coincides with the 150th anniversary of the publication of the first Aberdeen-Angus Herd Book in 1862.

This will be marked by the unveiling of a plaque on the building at 9 Old Market Place, Banff, where the early editions of the Herd Book were published.

Clare Russell, Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire, will unveil the plaque before playing host to the duke at Ballindalloch Castle where she and her husband, Oliver, keep the oldest Aberdeen-Angus herd in continuous existence, having been founded in 1860 by her great-grandfather, Sir George Macpherson-Grant.

A commemorative book giving a brief history of the breed, profiling each of the 16 herds to be visited over the five days, and promoting the farming and food of Aberdeenshire, including Aberdeen-Angus beef, will be given to each delegate on the tour.

This publication has been part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Rural Aberdeenshire LEADER 2007-13 programme and includes a foreword written by Prince Charles.

Its author is agricultural journalist Eddie Gillanders, who was one of the instigators of the club 40 years ago and has been secretary since its inception.

The Provost of Aberdeenshire will welcome delegates to the North-east as the tour gets under way on Thursday.

Countries represented include Australia, the Azores, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany and Sweden, as well as Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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