SNP’s deputy first minister Shona Robison accused of ‘disgraceful’ disrespect after arriving 40 minutes late for an event with Princess Anne
Deputy First Minister Shona Robison has been accused of disrespecting the Royal Family after showing up for an event with Princess Anne 40 minutes late.
Humza Yousaf’s second-in-command attended the Royal opening of Aberdeen South Harbour on behalf of the Scottish Government but angered many of the 350 guests by keeping them waiting.
It is understood Princess Anne filled in the time by speaking to members of the public for far longer than intended.
When she eventually made her speech, Ms Robison surprised the audience by failing to thank the Princess Royal for attending – in sharp contrast to the UK Government representative Andrew Bowie.
The Scottish Government said she was late to Friday’s event due to ‘urgent government business’ and apologised to organisers.
Deputy First Minister Shona Robison has been accused of disrespecting the Royal Family after showing up for an event with Princess Anne 40 minutes late
The Scottish Government said Ms Robison was late to Friday’s event due to ‘urgent government business’ and apologised to organisers
Ms Robison, who is Humza Yousaf’s second-in-command, attended the opening of Aberdeen South Harbour on behalf of the Scottish Government but angered many of the guests
Timings given to guests said HRH The Princess Royal would arrive at 1.30pm, and would meet a group of pre-approved guests from 1.50pm.
Speeches by Ms Robison and Mr Bowie, who is MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine and nuclear minister, were then due to take place at 2.35pm.
Two separate attendees told the Mail that speeches scheduled for 2.25pm did not begin until 3.05pm, and the delay appeared to have been caused by the SNP politician’s late arrival.
Douglas Lumsden, the Scottish Conservative MSP for North East Scotland, said: ‘It was completely disrespectful that the Deputy First Minister could not get to the Royal opening of Aberdeen Harbour on time and to keep everyone waiting, including Princess Anne, is quite disgraceful.’
The Scottish Government admitted the Deputy First Minister arrived late but denied that speeches were delayed because of this.
One guest said: ‘Her speech was awful as well. Andrew Bowie was there for the UK Government and he thanked Her Royal Highness for attending but Shona made no reference to her at all.
‘She didn’t acknowledge the Princess Royal in any way.’
The Royal event was marking the completion of the £420million Aberdeen South Harbour project.
Normal protocol is that timekeeping is crucial on Royal visits, with events required to start and finish at the agreed times.
Organisers are expected to ensure there are no surprise changes to the programme as this can cause consternation for those responsible for security arrangements, as well as embarrassment for the host and visitor.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘The Deputy First Minister was unavoidably delayed due to urgent Government business and apologised to the organisers.
‘The speeches were not delayed and the organisers were notified in advance.’
No details were given of a reason for the late arrival. However, she had been involved in discussions with council umbrella group Cosla over Thursday and Friday last week about funding for the increased offer to school workers, ahead of this week’s planned strikes.
The Scottish Government said that after the speeches were made Ms Robison ‘enjoyed her conversations with everyone including the Princess Royal’.
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