The King visits Aberdeenshire for his first engagement of 2023

Charles met local community groups to begin his year of work

On Friday, The King carried out his first solo engagement of 2023 with a visit to Aberdeenshire, where he met local community groups.

King Charles III has been on a short break at his Scottish home of Birkhall, on the Balmoral estate. He had spent Christmas at Sandringham, with members of the Royal Family. 

The King carried out his first engagement of 2023. (Royal Family)

His Majesty met local residents at The Aboyne and Mid Deeside Community Shed, a place which holds regular workshop, arts, crafts and other practical and wellbeing sessions.

Charles was given a tour of the building, including the space where the Aboyne Men’s Shed gather. During the tour, he watched demonstrations of craft skills, including wood and stone carving, and met local representatives of the Aboyne Men’s Shed charity.

During the visit, Charles spoke to members of the Aboyne Men’s Shed and shared a cup of tea as he heard about the impact of the Shed.

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Embed from Getty Images

His Majesty also joined a group of local men who meet at the Shed on a weekly basis to discuss how the workshop and location have helped them combat rural loneliness.

The King had the chance met representatives from different local charities and voluntary groups including organisations which provide food and transport for those in need, and which arrange sessions for groups including the elderly and young families.

Buckingham Palace said that The King had made a personal donation of a community fridge to an Aberdeenshire foodbank after the visit, as the cost of living crisis continues.

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The King was presented with a swift bird box by the Shed’s chairman, Mike Brooks, to which he said: ‘I love swifts. Thank you very much, that’s very kind’.

At the end of the visit, Charles, who dressed in a Stewart tartan kilt, unveiled a plaque, made by one of the Men’s Shed member, Tony Atherton. The royal visitor said of the work: ‘I am very impressed’.

The plaque reads: ‘This plaque was unveiled to commemorate the visit of His Majesty King Charles III to Aboyne Men’s Shed on Thursday 12th January’.

After admiring it, Charles remarked: ‘Has he spelled it all right?’

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

The engagement was the first for Charles since his the memoir of his youngest son, The Duke of Sussex, was released. Prince Harry’s book, titled ‘Spare‘ features revelations about royal life – including tensions behind palace walls with his brother and accusations of his family planting negative stories with the media – and is tipped to be one of the year’s biggest books.

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