HRH The Princess Royal opens new function suite at Royal Scots Club
HRH The Princess Royal opened a new function and event suite in her name this morning in the Royal Scots Club (RSC) in Edinburgh, the culmination of a £1.5m programme to extend the premises and upgrade its facilities.
The RSC, which is housed in 3 adjacent townhouses over six floors in Abercromby Place, is the only Club in the UK that is a War Memorial.
Colonel The Lord Henry Scott, fourth son of the Duke of Buccleuch, believed that, rather than erect a monument to honour the memory of the 11,162 Royal Scots killed in the Great War, there should be a Club for all ranks. In 1919, the Royal Scots War Memorial Fund was formed and an appeal started to raise funds for the purchase of premises.
In the first week, it took in £2000 and ultimately raised £17,000 – the equivalent of £5m today.
From this, Trustees initially bought No 30 and 31 Abercromby Place, then No 29 some years later. Over the years, the properties have been developed to add various facilities, but this is the biggest change to date.
The Princess Royal Suite, with its capacity of 200 for receptions and 150 for dinner, has fully integrated A/V, lighting and IT capabilities, including video-conferencing. It boasts its own atmospheric Cavern Bar, created in a vaulted area below 29 Abercromby Place, which was originally the entrance to the Mews Cottage, where carriages would have been housed.
In addition, the new enlarged function facilities will be served by an interlinked commercial kitchen with state-of-the-art cooking facilities. The Mews Cottage in the garden has been converted into 4 hotel-style rooms, giving the Club 22 ensuite bedrooms. A new glass corridor connects the Cottage to the main building and, in the next couple of weeks, a lift will link all six floors of the building for the first time.
The Institute of Directors, which has its Scottish headquarters within the Club, now has its own members’ business facilities and staff office in the new part of the building.
Speaking after the visit, when HRH The Princess Royal unveiled her photograph and a plaque bearing her name, Brian Adair, Chairman of Trustees, said:“It’s a great honour that HRH The Princess Royal agreed to give her name to our new function suite. As our Patron, she has given her support and time over the years and so it is fitting that we recognise her role by naming this important new part of the Royal Scots Club in her honour.
“As Trustees, we are charged with keeping the Club going for time immemorial if we are to fulfil its original purpose as a War Memorial. The Club is open to all and continues to attract members and ex-members of the services due to the raised profile of conflicts such as in Afghanistan. The Club But we must also grow the commercial side of the Club as that is what allows us to maintain this unique War Memorial for Scotland.”
Adrian Hayes, General Manager of the Club added:
“The Royal Scots Club already has a good reputation for combining the charm of a country house hotel with a cosy club atmosphere. It attracts visitors and business people, of all ages, from home and abroad for conferences, weddings, meetings and leisure.
“But in a competitive marketplace, we can’t afford to stand still. This development gives the Club the type and quality of facilities guests would expect in Scotland’s capital city. Despite the modern feel of parts of the Club, we will retain the very traditional values of personal service and courtesy that reflect our heritage.”
1. Membership of the Royal Scots Club is open to individuals, with or without a service background, provided they are over the age of 18 and to corporates. Membership privileges include use of private rooms at favoured rates; an exclusive lounge and library; reciprocal memberships with clubs worldwide; a programme of social activities; preferential terms for lunches and dinners; and reduced rates for overnight accommodation.
For more information on the Royal Scots Club, please go to www.royalscotsclub.com