THE sun shone all throughout that royal visit to Scotland but the schedule was a heavy one. Towards the end of one of the busiest days, the Queen turned to an aide and remarked, “Is this still the same day?” The aide’s tactful reply was not recorded.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who had begun their visit by stepping ashore from Britannia at Rosyth, went underground at Rothes Colliery. The Queen, wearing white overalls and rubber boots, with a miner’s lamp switched on, went underground for 1,600ft, walking three-quarters of a mile to the coalface and riding back to the cage on a pit-car.

Subsequent visits included Falkland Palace, Cupar, Loretto School, the Royal Scottish Academy, and a royal variety show at Glasgow’s Alhambra Theatre, as well as a Presentation Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The tour ended in Renfrewshire and Ayrshire., and in Largs the Queen declared open the Scottish National Recreation Centre, Inverclyde. Hundreds of children in kilts and white blouses sang the hymn, Count Your Blessings, when the Queen entered the church at Quarrier’s Homes at Bridge of Weir. She presented watches to two school duxes and (above) a camera to the junior dux. She met one housemother, Ann McNair, and the 17 boys and girls who lived as a family with her. The Queen congratulated her on her 23 years’ service and said that it must be very satisfying work.