Norwegian Queen & British PM Visit

by Alastair Hamilton -

July saw surprise visits to Shetland by the Queen of Norway and Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron.

The Queen of Norway dropped in for a private visit when her royal yacht called en route from Norway to Faroe. She spent time in Scalloway, which has strong Norwegian links because of the wartime Shetland Bus operation that supported the Norwegian resistance, mostly using small Norwegian fishing vessels. There, and elsewhere, she mingled incognito with other visitors. Her last trip to Shetland was at the end of May 2007, when she opened the new Shetland Museum and Archives with the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, as Prince Charles and Camilla are known when in Scotland.

It's much longer – thirty-four years, in fact – since a British Prime Minister paid a visit to the islands; Margaret Thatcher was in Shetland in 1980. David Cameron's visit was spread over two days and he visited a variety of sites around the islands, including the Coastguard rescue helicopter base at Sumburgh Airport and the recently refurbished lighthouse on nearby Sumburgh Head. He also had talks with fishermen and met local food producers, sampling their products.

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