His Royal Highness met the first students in the Johnnie Walker Learning for Life Academy and they were joined by representatives of The Prince’s Foundation’s ‘Introduction to Hospitality’ courses that run at the charity’s headquarters, Dumfries House in Ayrshire.
On 1st October, HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, officially opened Johnnie Walker Princes Street, the new global visitor experience for the world’s best-selling Scotch whisky in Scotland’s capital city.
His Royal Highness toured the eight-floor attraction set in one of Edinburgh’s landmark heritage buildings, met employees and unveiled a plaque to mark the opening.
During the visit, His Royal Highness met the first students in the Johnnie Walker Learning for Life Academy, a new space dedicated to this award-winning bartender and hospitality training programme. They were joined by representatives of The Prince’s Foundation’s ‘Introduction to Hospitality’ courses that run at the charity’s headquarters, Dumfries House in Ayrshire. This marked the launch of a partnership between Johnnie Walker and The Prince’s Foundation to deliver training and employment opportunities to support the sustainable recovery of hospitality and tourism across Scotland.
In celebration of the partnership, the hospitality students prepared a bespoke ‘Duke of Rothesay’ cocktail for His Royal Highness, created with Johnnie Walker Autumn (the first seasonal whisky exclusive to Johnnie Walker Princes Street) and garnished with ingredients from the gardens at Dumfries House estate.
Diageo Chief Executive Ivan Menezes welcomed His Royal Highness to Johnnie Walker Princes Street and hosted him on the tour, along with Diageo President for Supply Chain & Procurement Ewan Andrew, and Johnnie Walker Princes Street Managing Director Barbara Smith.
Ivan Menezes said: “It has been an honour to welcome His Royal Highness The Duke of Rothesay to officially open Johnnie Walker Princes Street and a pleasure to celebrate this special moment with our people and the students we are training for an exciting future in the hospitality industry.
“We are grateful to His Royal Highness for the interest he has shown in the Scotch whisky industry and we look forward to working in partnership with The Prince’s Foundation to create opportunities for people in communities across Scotland to get into training and employment in hospitality and tourism.”
The Duke of Rothesay also experienced elements of the Journey of Flavour, seeing a glimpse of the ‘Come Walk With Us’ performance of the Johnnie Walker story and pouring a Johnnie Walker Highball in the Grocer’s Sensorium using the custom-made dispenser, which personalises the flavour and is designed with sustainability in mind, saving the use of more than 15,000 glass bottles a year.
In the Johnnie Walker Archive, His Royal Highness explored historical documents from the origins of Johnnie Walker and relating to the first granting of a Royal Warrant for the supply of its Scotch whiskies to the Royal Household by King George V in 1934.
The tour concluded on the 1820 rooftop bar terrace with its stunning views of Edinburgh Castle and the city’s iconic skyline, where His Royal Highness unveiled a plaque to mark the official opening.