Prince of small talk - Harry's chat during Edinburgh walkabout

By Angie Brown
BBC Scotland, Edinburgh and East reporter


The Edinburgh Castle esplanade crowds waited hours to get up-close and personal with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their first official visit to Scotland. So, what is the chat between a prince and the public? I joined the throngs to find out.

The crowds surged forward as soon as the pair stopped to say hello, shake hands and receive presents.

At one point Harry said to a woman he feared the barrier may topple over because the crowd was pushing at her from behind.

'If you like trains, get on a sleeper - they're very good'

media captionPrince Harry spoke to nine-year-old Oliver Clews about trains during his visit

Nine-year-old Oliver Clews, from Northampton, chatted with Harry about the Royal train.

Oliver told BBC Scotland: "He shook my hand and it was amazing and exciting and it made my holiday.

"Nobody in my class will have met Royalty before."

image captionOliver Clews was very excited to meet the prince

'Nice to meet you and thank you for coming'

image captionCatherine Piel (L) said Harry made her "weak at the knees"

Prince Harry's wife-to-be Meghan, who is on her fourth official visit since her engagement to the prince in November, was considered "polite" by those I spoke to.

But it was the prince, used to the glare of the Royal spotlight since he was a child, who took time to look people "straight in the eye" and make each feel special.

Catherine Piel, 21, from Connecticut in the USA, said she went "weak at the knees" when Harry shook her hand.

She said: "He looked me dead in the eyes, I'll never forget it, and said 'Nice to meet you and thank you for coming'.

"I didn't think I would get to touch him. I thought I was going to cry. I'm still shaking and my heart is pounding."

'That's one great beard'

image captionMartin Harris was complemented on his beard by the prince. His girlfriend Roseanne Aspin says he will have to keep it.

Martin Harris, 29, from Manchester, said Harry complemented him on his ginger beard.

His girlfriend, Roseanne Aspin, 30, from Blackburn, said: "Martin's mum had only just yesterday been telling him to shave his beard off so I'm going to be calling her up today to tell her it has to stay now that his beard has Royal approval."

'What lovely warm hands'

image captionAnne Brown from Glasgow was told she had warm hands

When the prince met Anne Brown, from Glasgow, he told her she had "lovely warm hands, the warmest he had felt that day".

She said: "It made my day, I was very fortunate to meet him."

'That's a very nice jacket'

image captionHarry told Daniel Pearn (R) he liked his jacket

Daniel Pearn, 30, from Cornwall, who waited two and a half hours to see the couple, said Harry told him he had "a very nice jacket and that it must be warm".

Klaus Rasmussen, 48, from Denmark, said he thought Meghan was "very friendly" when she came to speak to him in the crowd.

He said: "She asked what my name was and where was I from.

"She was a very nice woman and it was very exciting for my wife, she was happy about it."

'It's a bit chilly today'

image captionKlaus Rasmussen said Meghan was very friendly

Ashley Kremer, 35, from Canada, said: "It was really lovely to meet Harry and to shake his hand, which was very unexpected.

"He was joking about the weather with us and saying it was a bit chilly."

Katherine Baker, 21, from Essex, said she travelled to Edinburgh especially for the Royal visit.

"I wanted to see if they had chemistry together and they absolutely do.

"They are so cute. She's very reserved and seems very polite.

"He seemed very personable and I loved how he was patting the horse."

More on this story