Queen makes beeline for Scottish whisky while chuckling with Nicola Sturgeon at third royal engagement in three days

The Queen seemed excited to receive gifts from Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on Wednesday

Queen makes beeline for Scottish whisky with Nicola Sturgeon
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen looked excited to accept a trilogy of Scottish gifts during an audience with Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on Wednesday. 

The Queen effortlessly broke the ice with Nicola Sturgeon on Wednesday by chatting about one of her lifelong passions ‒ premium whisky. 

Her Majesty welcomed Scotland's First Minister at the Palace of Holyroodhouse for an in-person audience this morning, marking her third public engagement since arriving in Edinburgh for Royal Week on Monday. The appearance comes just one day after the Queen's sweet lavander outfit and brooch at an Armed Forces parade in the Scottish city wowed her legion of Caledonian fans. 

The 96-year-old was all smiles as she shook hands with the Leader of the Scottish National Party, who just yesterday announced plans to hold another independence referendum in October 2023. Whether the two powerhouses discussed the divisive political matter ‒ which would make Scotland a sovereign state outside of the United Kingdom ‒ remains unconfirmed. 


(Image credit: Getty)

Wearing a pink-toned floral dress and her signature pearls, the Queen kicked off the audience by making a beeline for the table adorned with traditional Scottish gifts. 

Sturgeon offered a brief explanation of each present to the monarch, who appeared most intrigued by the £150 limited edition bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label whisky. It's been widely reported that Her Majesty has long enjoyed a drop of the Scottish liquor, famously opting for a glass of Royal Lochnagar when vacationing at her Highlands retreat at Balmoral Castle. She also graciously accepted a specially made tartan blanket from Sturgeon, which she called "a nice thing to have", as well as a framed graphic. 

The Queen can be heard chuckling with Sturgeon during the exchange, suggesting she's still in high spirits despite her ongoing mobility issues. The two leaders posed for photographs before being left alone to have a private conversation, as is the formality of Her Majesty's audiences. 

The Queen also welcomed Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament Alison Johnstone shortly after her audience with Sturgeon. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.