Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne will officially open the 30th annual ACE Winches Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy, on Saturday 1st July 2023.
The Princess will be accompanied by her husband, Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, to mark the beginning of the festival, held on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July 2023. This will be Her Royal Highness’ second visit to the event, having previously attended in 2009.
A flotilla of heritage vessels from across the UK will drop anchor in Portsoy, for a weekend celebrating the north east’s rich seafaring heritage and culture.
Her Royal Highness is Patron of several maritime-related organisations including the Marine Society and Sea Cadets, Maritime UK, The National Coastwatch Institution, Scottish Fisheries Museum’s Reaper Appeal and The Mission to Seafarers Limited. Lord-Lieutenant of Banffshire, Andrew Simpson will welcome Her Royal Highness to Portsoy and the Portsoy Pipe Band will perform a lively display.
Following the opening ceremony, The Princess will spend some time meeting the individuals and volunteers involved in organising the festival, which was first held in 1993 to mark the tercentenary of Portsoy Harbour. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest gatherings of traditional boats in Scotland and over 15,000 visitors are expected to attend, over the two days.
David Urquhart, Chairman of the ACE Winches Scottish Traditional Boat Festival commented, “It is a great honour to welcome Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, to open this year’s festival.
“Her Royal Highness takes a great interest in the maritime sector and the whole committee has been working hard to create a festival programme which highlights our nautical past and present, whilst creating a vibrant and exciting atmosphere, which I’m confident The Princess will enjoy.
“The event really is a feast for the senses. Visitors can see some unique and rare vessels sailing into Portsoy this year, notably Reaper, which makes her maiden voyage following significant restoration works.
“There will be stories and songs of the shore with live music and dance performances, delicious Scottish food and drink and unique, hand-made gifts, jewellery and age-old crafts on display in our craft fayre.”
Alfie Cheyne, Founder and Chairman of ACE Winches, headline sponsor of the festival said: “I am delighted Her Royal Highness will visit Portsoy and open this year’s festival. The event tells the north east’s maritime story in a very special way.
“It blends traditional boats with exciting sea-borne activities, crafts, Scottish food and drink and live music, bringing together the whole community for what promises to be a great weekend, celebrating its 30th year.”