Prince Charles has toasted the opening of his local Highland games with his favourite dram.
The Duke of Rothesay, as he is known while in Scotland, was offered a quaich – or cup – of Islay malt Laphroaig on his arrival at the Ballater Highland Games in Aberdeenshire, near the royals’ summer residence at Balmoral.
Wearing Highland dress, the prince drank the whisky before raising the games’ flag and meeting the tug of war team at the annual gathering.
Up to 6,000 people were expected at Monaltrie Park for traditional events including tossing the caber and Highland dancing.
Alan Caig, 70, who presented the cup to Charles, said his “eyes lit up” when he told him it was his favourite malt.
The president of Clan Farquharson UK had written to the prince to say the offering would be made as a thank you for a greeting Charles had sent clan members earlier this year, on the 100th birthday of their chieftain.
Mr Caig, from Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, said: “I told him, if you’d like to have a dram with us the next time you’re at the Ballater Games, please do so.
“His secretary arranged that we would do it today as part of the presentation party and I was delighted to do that.
“We researched his favourite whisky – when we went in to the local shop that sells various malts, the lady said ‘we serve the prince at Birkhall, and it’s Laphroaig’.
“When I told him it was Laphroaig his eyes lit up and he drank it straight away, in one go. It obviously went down well.”
Charles, who was not accompanied by Camilla at the games, watched as the Lonach Pipe Band marched through the grounds, with a special appearance by the Royal Regiment of Scotland mascot, a Shetland pony named Corporal Cruachan IV.
He watched the 28lb weight throwing contest and spoke to competitors before departing at around 12.30pm.
Games chairman John Sinclair said: “It’s a great honour to have the Duke of Rothesay here. It’s fantastic, and really makes a difference to the day.
“He enjoyed it without a doubt.”