Prince William: Expert on meeting with Nicola Sturgeon
Prince William’s decision to open up about his special connection with Scotland contributed to the success of his visit to the nation, according to Dr Tessa Dunlop. The royal commentator argued the Duke of Cambridge “love-bombed” the nation with the candid speech he delivered during the opening ceremony of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly and the engagements that followed.
In a column written for Mail+, Dr Dunlop said: “William’s wooing of Britain’s northern kingdom was pitch-perfect.
“Crucially, the heir to the British throne chose Scotland to tell ‘his truth’.
“Taking his cue from younger brother Harry’s emotional playbook, William talked of his special connection with a country where he’s run the full gamut of emotions, learning of his mother’s death surrounded by Balmoral’s bleak beauty and falling in love with his wife at St Andrew’s University.
“These days it’s hard to knock someone’s truth and the Duke’s was touching.
Prince William and Kate during their tour to Scotland
Kate and Prince William joking during an engagement in Scotland
“In his own sweet conservative way he love-bombed Scotland and the reaction to criticism of his efforts in the Scottish press was deafening for its silence.”
Prince William’s emotional appeal, which was paired up by Kate’s glamour when she joined her husband during the tour, contributed to make their visit north of the border a success for the Royal Family and the union, Dr Dunlop said.
However, she noted, their tour will need a “follow-up mission” carried out by the Royal Family to make their impact in Scotland long lasting.
After arguing the Royal Family needs to focus on Scotland, where the House of Windsor “urgently need to seal the deal”, Dr Dunlop added: “Nationalism doesn’t do half measures or subtly.
READ MORE: Queen granted Kate and William access to Prince Philip’s collection
Prince William delivered a speech during the opening of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
“An annual trip to Balmoral is not enough from Britain’s most famous family and last week’s warm reception proves there’s an appetite for more.
“William’s declaration of devotion to Scotland reminded us all that flattery is very hard to resist.
“The northern Kingdom had its tummy tickled and here’s hoping it’s just the start.”
In his poignant speech to the General Assembly, Prince William touched upon topics close to his heart, including the work carried out during the pandemic by emergency responders and frontline workers.
Kate and Prince William returned to St Andrews University last week
Kate and Prince William during a meeting with young carers
But he also spoke about how important Scotland is to his family, confessing the Queen “relishes every minute she spends” in the nation.
And, on a deeply personal note, he recalled how Scotland has been the theatre of both his happiest and saddest moments.
He said: “I was in Balmoral when I was told that my mother had died.
“Still in shock, I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk that very morning.
Royal men and their military honours
“And in the dark days of grief that followed, I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors.
“As a result, the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep.
“And yet alongside this painful memory, is one of great joy.
“Because it was here in Scotland – twenty years ago this year – that I first met Catherine.
Kate and Prince William left Scotland last Thursday
“Needless to say, the town where you meet your future wife holds a very special place in your heart.”
During their tour, which began on May 21 and ended last Thursday, Kate and Prince William met local organisations working to support the most vulnerable, shared a pint with NHS workers and learned more about Scotland’s environmental efforts.
Poignantely, they also returned to St Andrews, the town where they attended university together, and spoke with undergraduate students about the challenges they are experiencing during the pandemic.