Scottish press blasts the Cambridges: the royals treat Scotland like ‘Tartan Disneyland’

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit Scotland - Day Six

As we discussed last week, on the last day of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Scottish tour, William and Kate apparently had a private meeting with former prime minister Gordon Brown. Brown is a Scotsman, and he’s also heading up some campaign to keep Scotland as part of the UK, an anti-independence movement, if you will. The Cambridges tried to briefly cover up the meeting with Brown and they attempted to order a media outlet from airing the footage of Brown arriving at Holyroodhouse. The Scottish independence issue is pretty politically sensitive and one would think that the palaces would take pains to ensure that the “future future king” would not be caught looking like a purely political animal. A Scottish MP, John Nicolson, told the Times that it’s a “big mistake for young royals to get involved” in the independence debate. And even media outlets like the Daily Mail have noted that the Keen Scotland Tour didn’t really go down well inside Scotland.

Prince William and Kate Middleton concluded their week-long tour of Scotland on Thursday – dubbed a royal charm offensive to help persuade the country to resist the demands of nationalists for independence. But while the royal couple have been well received by members of the public throughout their tour, their engagements largely failed to generate anywhere near the publicity they receive in England – though Kate’s touching visit to a five-year-old cancer patient did secure them some positive coverage to cap off the trip.

Certainly in the political sphere, the royals’ attempt to curry favour appears to have had little impact. There was radio silence on social media from SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, despite the fact she met with Prince William at the start of the week – a discussion the Duke said he ‘enjoyed’ in his final speech. The majority of Scottish MPs failed to even acknowledge the royal couple’s visit on their individual platforms, though a few expressed mild contempt for the way the royals’ trip to Orkney was reported in the press.

SNP MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, John Nicolson, also shared the tweet quoting the phrase ‘remote archipelago’, while SNP MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Angus MacNeil, retweeted a tweet criticising broadcaster STV for using the phrase in its coverage. He also retweeted an opinion piece published in The National which accused the royals of using Scotland as ‘its own personal Tartan Disneyland’.

The column in The National by Kevin McKenna was particularly scathing, branding the royals a ‘dysfunctional’ family who use Scotland as a ‘year-round, all-inclusive, holiday playground’ with their ‘every whim catered for by grown men and women jouking about in tartan like large liquorice allsorts’.

‘Basically, the British royal family gets to use Scotland as its own personal Tartan Disneyland. It always has done,’ it read. ‘While Scotland remains in the Union, its large extended family is given the most picturesque half of the country to shoot animals, ride horses, walk their dogs and fish in some of the world’s grandest waterways. And all without having to encounter too many actual Scots and their unpredictable ways and rough manners.’

[From The Daily Mail]

To be fair… William and Kate’s tours never generate that much press anyway. Sure, outlets like the Daily Mail report on their comings and goings during tours, and blogs like this one are focused on the fashion and styling aspects of tours, but the keen tours are rarely impactful beyond that. If anything, for William and Kate specifically in recent years, the tours have become bad-headline generators. The Covid Choo Choo tour last winter was notable for their masklessness and the fact that public health officials were upset with their travels. Their Irish tour last year was notable for William making “jokes” about the impending pandemic. And now they’ve stepped into a sensitive political situation like a bull in a china shop. Oh well. Also: “Tartan Disneyland” is hilarious. Because that IS how the Keens’ treat Scotland.

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit Scotland - Day Five

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit Scotland - Day Five

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

94 Responses to “Scottish press blasts the Cambridges: the royals treat Scotland like ‘Tartan Disneyland’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Maria says:

    The Daily Mail and their commenters are going on about how this is just “Scottish whingeing” and they are tired of it and would be better off without them etc etc.

    • Cecilia says:

      And there we have it. People simply do not want to hear the smallest ounce of criticism directed at the keens. Even if its valid.

      • Maria says:

        There were some Scottish apologists for the Cambridge tour on the other posts.
        While it’s their prerogative to decide how they feel and I won’t dictate that, I hope they’re taking notes here.

      • Elizabeth Regina says:

        The truth is they are the least impactful royals. Their ROI is quite pathetic. With the amount of press, embiggening and money thrown at the Scottish tour, the return is woeful. William had one job and he managed to turn those who were on the fence into non-unionists.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the paid for comments on the Fail’s articles – the Fail has bot farms that generate comments for each article that fits the narrative they are trying to push.

      • Maria says:

        Oh of course.
        But there are plenty (a not insignificant amount) of real people who agree with them, sadly.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        What’s interesting is the comments saying if Scotland doesn’t like the Cambridges they can leave. That is NOT the narrative the BM wants.

      • Lemons says:

        @Wiglet Watcher, I mean…that’s the whole point, right? Scotland wants to leave, so they organized a tour to woo them back. And it didn’t work.

        The royals need to wake up. If they continue like this, they are nothing more than C-list celebrities with an old history and old money. And if they provide no more value than a C-lister, countries are going to start treating them like reality TV stars…dispensable.

        If they were effective at communicating the UK’s value to Scotland (not just in being present, but being familiar with the advantages being a part of GB), Scotland may not be so tough on them. But instead, they decided to take what most of us would call a vacation.

      • SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

        Boggles my mind that bots can be programmed to sound as genuinely stupid and toxic as Fail commenters do.

  2. Lola says:

    Just curious if we have any Scots here who could offer insight: Scotland seems WAY more woke than the rest of the UK. Not just on this but on most social issues. Why is that?

    Seems like Wales (for example) has had a similar socioeconomic position within the UK, but the political climate seems really different.

    • Sunshine says:

      It’s because they’re not English.
      They’ve been colonised just like the rest of the commonwealth.

      • Carolind says:

        I am Scottish. I know Scottish people were up to their necks in slavery. My local hospital built on pay-offs.

        Scottish people are more independent than English, I would say. Less likely to support any institution. The Scots were not so hung up on Princess Diana who they viewed as very English.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I think a lot of it comes from the period of Scottish Enlightenment in the 18th century where reason and philosophy ruled. Those schools of thought and teachings have been a part of the Scottish education system for years (particularly in our Universities) and Scots are generally a very philosophical people by nature – we love to ‘chew the fat’ so to speak over a good drink. We are also a very welcoming people by nature and want to know all about visitors and immigrants alike – my gran used to say we’re ‘just a nosey people’ LOL bless her. One my polish co-workers once said that in Scotland everyone wanted to know about him and Poland – he never got that when he moved to England.

      • Mac says:

        Thanks for sharing. I’ve traveled throughout the UK and the culture in Scotland is so different in the best way. If you haven’t been, put it on your bucket list.

      • YFiona says:

        Thanks for this. In Canada, the Scots are largely recognised for creating our banking system. They were able to put into play ideas here they couldn’t in Scotland because of the English. In fact, the Scots have had a big influence here, including piping curlers onto the rink before significant tournaments 🙂

      • LainieR says:

        Scots had a huge influence on the education system in Canada too.

      • Pat says:

        I have been reading up on the issue of Scotland becoming independent or not and you all are some “passionate people “. The comments on articles about the SNP and all make me read every one of the comments. I would love to visit your country one day, i have seen some beautiful pictures in your books. I do believe you all are fiery and passionate about the politics, but I see that independent spirit and sense of community in the comments section of articles. The comments about N. Sturgeon crack me up. I’m curious to see what you all will decide when you vote.

    • Penguin says:

      Im an EU immigrant to the UK and I wouldnt live anywhere else but Scotland. Its a beautiful place and it’s lovely to live in. But it’s not without its problems and the same goes for the independence issue. While Im really pleased that so many international people take interest in UK issues, the danger is that a lot of statements or current events can’t be fully appreciated without knowing or understanding those problems. The SNP particulary has a lot to answer for regarding its own internal issues and dynamics and those arent always evident. All Im trying to say is dont take statements such as these at face value. The UK and Scotland have a very different political dynamic than in the US.

      • GraceB says:

        I completely agree. Theres loads of good things about Scotland but the drawbacks are what keep me living in England

      • Loolaa says:

        I’m Scandinavian, and I’m not that familiar with the internal dealings of Scotland. What are the drawbacks of living there?

  3. Noki says:

    Tartan Disneyland🤣🤣🤣🤣 I always wonder how much ‘regular’ gossip the Royals read and if they keep up with pop culture. TBH if they did I dont think they would do half the things they still do like Kate with her theme dressing,their clearly kept in a bubble.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      I suspect that they surround themselves with sycophants and people cut from the same cloth as them. Then you add their laziness, lack of creativity and inability to research and hey presto.

  4. Digital Unicorn says:

    OMG I literally have not heard this phrase, ‘jouking’, in many years – my grandparents used to use it a lot.

    jouking = running around after someone/do their bidding.

    Tartan Disneyland – love it and the Braemar Games should totally use it for their PR as its kinda a Disneyland for all things Scottish.

    • Golly Gee says:

      Not to mention the rest of that sentence: ‘every whim catered for by grown men and women jouking about in tartan like large liquorice allsorts’. Large Liquorice Allsorts!!! BAHAHAHAH!
      I’m off to read the rest of his article.
      Also, thank you for giving the definition of jouking, DU. 🤓

    • Golly Gee says:

      Just finished reading Kevin McKenna‘s editorial, and it was deliciously brutal.
      A couple of gems:
      “ William, who gets to call himself the Earl of Strathearn for no apparent reason when he’s in Scotland” and “he gets to be called Lord High Commissioner for no reason that anyone can understand either” when addressing the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

    • Christine says:

      Can you give me a phonetic spelling of “Jouking”, please? I’ve been turning it over and over, and it sounds like a combo of jousting and king, in my head. Yea or nay?

      • Loolaa says:

        I got curious too, and found the phonetic spelling for ‘jouk’ via google search: /dʒʊk/

        ʊ is the sound of ‘oo’ in ‘good’ or ‘ou’ in ‘should’.

        So, I guess ‘djooking’ ??

      • fifee says:

        When I use it I tend to say something that sounds similar to “duking” but with my accent it sounds more like “jewkin” with the n being very short. Scots folk have weird ways of saying things. I played an online game and one of my online friends had a name beginning with the word ‘Hit’ and everyone kept going on about me saying ‘Hat’ and I couldnt understand why and then it dawned on me I pronounce I as an A in certain words and plenty other folk I know do the same.

  5. OriginalLala says:

    I’m glad these conversations are happening in the public/press – it’s time for the royals to go. They take and take, and offer little in return. #AbolishTheMonarchy

    • Jane says:

      I think it’s very telling that when they come to Scotland, they either go to Balmoral or stick predominantly to the east coast – Edinburgh and St Andrews aren’t exactly representative of the rest of Scotland, being full to the brim of wealthy non-Scottish people who have priced out all the Scots. I’d pay good money to see Kate taking a tour of Easterhouse, or William sitting through a Rangers/Celtic game.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        This is their 2nd tour of Scotland and they clearly AVOIDED the West coast, again. They can’t blame COVID as there were area’s outside of Glasgow that are in the lower tiers.

      • Elizabeth Regina says:

        This is exactly what they should have done but heaven knows how they managed to not read the room on this.

      • Penguin says:

        Id like to see any member of the royal family into Wester Hailes Education Centre or a community hall in Pilrig. Edinburgh isnt all castles and fairy tales.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ Jane, unfortunately they aren’t smart enough for that! They think that their visit alone was or is enough to keep Scotland within their grasp. PWT and Keen probably thought that their little visit was enough to keep the Scots perfectly happy to remain under the thumb of TRF. All the while, they performed the very least on their little tour. As for them now
        being branded as such, they deserve every bit of the negative press. So now we have their perfectly deserving “Tartan Disneyland” because it’s true. I am still angry the the Keen Doucheness wasn’t inoculated and was visiting children. But that is because it hits so close to home. My sister is fighting for her life and her daughter is visiting, even though her doctor told her that she could kill her mother for NOT having been vaccinated against the coronavirus and she is there now 🤬

        As for Scotland to call it like it is, good for them!!! They know which side their toast is buttered. I am certain that they have done more harm then good!!

    • Penguin says:

      There are barely any Scots left in St. Andrews. Its all English holiday home owners, Russian oligarchs and American golf tourists. If you want Tartan Disneyland thats definetly it.

      • Waitwhat? says:

        And students. It’s lovely, but it’s also a deeply weird place (the majority of the population aren’t permanent residents, and are either between 18 and 25 or over 65). It’s very much not representative of Scotland, or even Fife for that matter.

  6. L84Tea says:

    LOL, Tartan Disneyland is a priceless expression and it feels like a big dig at Kate. I’m so glad we’re not the only ones noticing it.

  7. Rise_Above says:

    That headline made me laugh so hard through a mouthful of hot coffee I have to go home and change my clothes. Thank you I really needed a laugh

    • Liz version 700 says:

      I came on here to say the same thing. Tartan Disneyland made me Lol so hard.

      • Jais says:

        Tartan Disneyland!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        “Basically the royal family get to use Scotland as their own personal Tartan Disneyland”
        Love everything about this sentence. It hits so good because it’s so so true.

      • Mac says:

        It really is the perfect analogy.

  8. Cecilia says:

    You know its bad when even the daily mail starts pointing out what a disaster this tour was

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      Yup. I don’t know who had the great idea to send them back after last year’s disaster. They would have been better off with the queen or Prince Charles going. heck, even Sofiesta would have done a much better job.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        Yes, and even Sophia could have pulled a few rabbits out of her hat!!

        Let’s face it, even the Scots have their number!!

      • Lizzie says:

        The queen snubbed them last year when they got back from the choo choo covid tour and the maleficent seven made an appearance. I hope she rubs in their faces that Harry and Meghan drew huge crowds.

  9. Sofia says:

    LOL @ “Tartan Disneyland”

    I don’t blame Scots for not being enthusiastic about this tour. I probably wouldn’t if I was a Scot. The Cambridges smiling and doing mostly lightweight activities is not going to make a dent in the independence movement.

  10. Nomegusta says:

    Free my homegirl, Scotland!

  11. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    Kevin McKenna should really tell folks how he feels. This holding back isn’t good for stress levels.😆😆😆😆😆
    Also. “Tartan Disneyland.” Officially D.E.A.D.
    God I love the Scots!!!!

  12. Becks1 says:

    Tartan Disneyland is so perfect because that’s literally what it is for them – a place for Kate to wear plaid where they just play around.

  13. Sunshine says:

    And the Telegraph really thought they were doing the most with the sponsored article “Kate’s Fashion diplomacy.” What a joke.

  14. nicegirl says:

    Ok, Tartan Disneyland may be a place I’d like to visit!

  15. Jane Doe says:

    All of this amateur nonsense from the monarchy distracts from the seriousness of the independence issue. Scotland has oil reserves. England needs Scotland far more than the other way around. Had independence been feasible decades ago, the power dynamic between the two nations would look very different than it does now. It’s interesting to get a tiny look into Scottish media take on the touring circus that is the royals. A strange world.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Jane Doe, thank you for the wonderful bit of info!! Now we know their true feelings about keeping Scotland!!

    • SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

      Scotland also has most of the fishing waters.

  16. nicegirl says:

    Wait a dang minute.

    I meant

    I too am keen to visit Tartan Disneyland.

    • Jais says:

      I mean me too. I would for real love to visit Scotland and buy some local handcrafted tartans and spend my money in some pubs. The difference is we’d be spending our money there in support as opposed to spending tax money to support our tartan-wearing tour.

  17. Harper says:

    The tour tanked so much that Will & Co. went to The Times, which is also the mouthpiece of TOB, for a write-up. Someone named Melanie Phillips has a piece calling Won’t and Can’t national treasures. Pair that with the Jewel in the Crown article by Camilla Tominey in the Telegraph, and we can see what type of talking points the Crisis Managers laid out for the post-tour publicity.

    • Cecilia says:

      This strategy is dangerous because all this does is remove the keens further from reality. In another 10 years they’ll be doing engagements and inciting public outrage not knowing why and seriously misreading public sentiment.

    • ABritGuest says:

      Melanie Philips is known as a massive Islamophobe who was one of the inspirations for the Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik. The Cambridges really have the worst people caping for them these days & that’s certainly not going to help them appeal to young people.

      Valentino Low also had a piece that after the Sussexes’ departure the Cambridges were filling the gap. What an insult to the future king & queen!

      The tour was pitched as a charm offensive to keep the union together so it’s no surprise they would meet Gordon brown on independence- just shady to hide it. The apolitical row that happened after Meghan encouraged her fellow US citizens to vote was ridiculous- the royals have always been political and are barely impartial given the Tory presence amongst royal staffers. It’s only an issue when it appears a royal is favouring a political position the press doesn’t like.

    • Waitwhat? says:

      Oh, Melanie Phillips is a horror.

  18. Rapunzel says:

    Basically, the BRF are tourists when they visit, but the Scots pay for their tourism.

    Disneyland would never.

  19. Ania says:

    Tartan disneyland made my day! On the serious note – there should be more voices like that, noticing how incompetent Royals are. World politics is complicated and should be approached carefully. So my question is – who decides to send Keens somewhere? Are there any goals set, ways to achieve it, does someone train those idiots on what to say and what not to say?? Or are all policians in Englad incompetent as well and let them do whatever they want?

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Ania, that is a good question as we have seen that Won’t and Can’t are dumber than a box of rocks but they are still being pushed into positions that are clearly out of reach for them. They can’t even put an ounce of effort to charm the Scots, yet alone anyone else. You would think that the FFK, who is pushing 40, would be able to handle a few days in Scotland or any other commonwealth, but he can’t! They may want to skip Baldimort as from where I am sitting, George is more prepared than his own father!!

  20. Amy Bee says:

    A sign of whether the Cambridges’ tour had any impact is how many times they make the front pages. During that week, they barely made the front pages and neither were they on all the front pages.

  21. Elizabeth says:

    The Will and Kate Charm Offensive 2021: Not so much charm, more offensive.

  22. Bettyrose says:

    No lies detected. How many goddamn times have they imposed their unmasked, unvaccinated selves on Scotland? It’s so gross that they did that even after a vaccine was available. 😬

  23. Victoria says:

    Well, well, well…and who are they gonna blame for this?

    • Curious says:

      lol a pre recorded health tv series harry did in 2019 . william thinks harry is still in that mood. when harry have faced his demons and moved on to a happy life..

  24. goofpuff says:

    Every single trip the royals make to Scotland will have “Tartan Disneyland” headline in my brain from now on. That is an amazing tagline.

  25. Curious says:

    with Catherine, i think i am watching Hyacinth Bucket

    • Lucky Charm says:

      She really is, isn’t she? Although Hyacinth’s family was much more entertaining than the Middletons, lol!

  26. Jaded says:

    Well we all knew the great ‘TARTAN TOUR of 2021’ would be an utter failure. This is one of the most obvious, almost farcical shams Mean and Keen have done to date. Willnot thinking he could sneak in a meeting with Gordon Brown? Keen faffing around in tartan? GMAFB…those 2 are doing more harm than good with these charmless offences.

  27. Lizzie says:

    I liked the ‘all inclusive’ vacations that the rf take to Scotland.
    Why send prince and princess charmless who always manage to put their foot in it? So dumb. Also why did TOB even have that meeting. He is second in line and has no power. I imagine he believes it’s a great big boost to the anti independent movement for him to meet secretly with Brown but it’s probably just a boost to his own ego to feel like he’s got a hand in things.

  28. molly says:

    Wait, wait, wait. Didn’t the UK press lose their minds when Meghan and Harry told people to vote in America? It was all, “RoYaLs ArE aBoVe PoLiTiCs!!!” This seems pretty darn politics to me.

  29. Merricat says:

    How galling is it that the host country pays for this nonsense? Just for the opportunity to look upon the faces of the Keens…the contempt inherent in their belief that just showing up is enough is so revealing.

  30. Melanie P says:

    Kate,,again,,with that big “horse” laugh 🐎

  31. Sparky says:

    In addition to Kate, the Tartan Disneyland comment also made me think of Charles. He tools around Scotland wearing a kilt and sporran.

  32. Curious says:

    lmao the monarchy thinks they the godfather . a dying kingdom thinks they have the right to belittle everyone under them.

  33. Amelie says:

    Tartan Disneyland, if any good came out of the Scotland tour it was that term hahaha

  34. 2cents says:

    The Scots are on red royal alert!

    Boris sent his puppet William to test the Scottish defense-system before he launches his iron fist against the independence movement. William and Kate’s charm offensive made no impact at all.

    It would be unwise for Boris Johnson or the royals to drive the Scottish nationalists into extremism as we’ve seen in Northern Ireland.

    The warnings from Scotland are loud and clear. Don’t mess with us!

    • Pat says:

      I read somewhere that the Queen will be coming to Scotland as well . She is part of the charm initiative. Supposedly BJ thinks this will make the people of Scotland want to let thoughts of independence fly out the window. I actually think it’s rather disrespectful to believe that the people of Scotland will be so excited to have the royals visit that they will decide they don’t want independence after all. It’s as though the Scott’s better be glad the royals came period. The queen is supposed to be the big gun. The royals are trying to keep their money in their pocket. From what I read Balmoral hasn’t been taxed the past 100 years and they would have to pay taxes on Balmoral and any other properties they have in Scotland. I also read that the Scott’s could decide to make it into a recreational/ or something that the people can enjoy. It mentioned that the royals don’t associate with the people or go and spend money in the community when they are at Balmoral. The royals don’t get involved in any of the Scott’s traditions. It’s like they use Balmoral as vacation space and that’s the only reason they come. Scotland sounds like they could do fine without the royals if they become independent. However, the British doubt the Scott’s would survive financially going independent.

  35. Saucy&Sassy says:

    It’s interesting to read that the brf stay in very specific areas of Scotland. I’ve also read that they mostly do engagements in and around London in England. It seems like the very LEAST they could do is start going to places within Scotland and England where they haven’t been appearing. You know, let people know that the brf knows that the rest of the country really is populated. That their issues may be different from those in the areas saturated with brf appearances. Why haven’t the brf done this? Why is it 2021 and the brf haven’t thought its necessary? I truly cannot understand this family/firm. They just don’t compute.

  36. Merricat says:

    Their sense of entitlement is gasoline on a fire.

  37. Chelsea says:

    Im just amazed that they sent them back there so soon after the COVID Express debacle. I admittedly dont searcg for stories on them but the only articles I saw in US publications about that tour was pointing out that people asked them not to come and the controversy surrounding that. Don’t know why they then decided to send them back a few months later.

  38. Lizzie says:

    What could they have done differently? To start they could not have been self important show-offs. They could have not been lazy for once. Kate could have researched Scottish designers and built an amazing wardrobe around it. She could have went shopping and picked up things for the kids. TOB could have not looked bored and put out the whole time he wasn’t looking enraged. Instead of everyplace they went having to entertain them and make them look sporty, they could gone out and met people and really explored, done a little for tourism. But no, it was all put together for a cute youtube video.

    • Jais says:

      Did she wear any Scottish designers or jewelry? Sorry I could look this up but I don’t remember it being mentioned in any of the fashion coverage. Maybe the scarf at the beginning of the week? A commenter last week gave names of some Scottish jewelers, which was really cool.

      • notasugarhere says:

        In the header pic, Kate is wearing sapphire earrings from the Dubai royal who kidnapped two of his adult daughters, tried to marry his 11 year old off to MBS, and who is close horse breeding buddies with QEII.

      • Lizzie says:

        I think one purse was by a Scottish designer.