OPINION: Trolls spectacularly fail to take shine off Edward’s Forfar visit

I’m not sure if wee Penny Anderson knows centenarian May Balfour.

But if happenchance brings them together in Forfar the one certainty is they’ll not be stuck for conversation – swapping stories of the day the Earl and his Countess came to town.

Monday past was a good day for the county seat.

A historic day, which saw an ancient title brought back into being for the first time in more than three centuries and gave the folk of Farfar a chance to show off their town to Royal guests who don’t often come calling.

That they did with aplomb, and the two encounters bridging the generations captured perfectly the mood of the day.

In March, the monarch’s youngest child received the Earl of Forfar title as a somewhat out of the ordinary 55th birthday present, and from here on in it will be the one used on Scottish visits by Edward and Countess Sophie.

The Earl and Countess of Forfar chat with locals in Castle Street, Forfar.

Traffic troubles put the Royals’ schedule a little out of kilter, but the timetable could pretty much have been ripped up completely when it became obvious from the get go how keen they were to make it a day to remember for as many people as possible.

Including little Penny, who embraced the Countess in a heart-melting cuddle on Castle Street, the genuine warmth of which was, for me, the standout shot of the day.

Following lunch, and a little further up the road after the press pack got the image they all wanted of the Earl tucking into a Forfar Bridie, the VIP visitors met centenarian May in the shadow of the East and Old kirk steeple.

And there, again, the view through the lens was the perfect snapshot of the mood of that memorable day.

Of course, the packed programme meant the inaugural visit of the 21st century Earl was about very much more than two personal encounters with citizens separated by the best part of a century.

Highland dancers who stepped up in front of the municipal buildings, rugby-playing youngsters and cycling ladies – who won Sophie’s admiration for taking on the Cairn O’Mount road she knows from trips to Balmoral – will all have happy memories of Monday.

And a single line footnote is probably more than the social media trolls who spectacularly failed to take the shine off the historic day deserve.

Royal visit: Crowds welcome new Earl and Countess to Forfar on inaugural visit

Prince Edward gets stuck into Forfar bridie as town welcomes its new earl

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