Whisky Magazine Issue 12
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Jane Slade traces the Prince of Wales' legendary love of Scotch
Prince Charles' was introduced to alcohol at a rather young age and quite by accident. He was a sea cadet with the naval equivalent of the Territorial Army at Gordonstoun School. It was 1964. He was just 16 years old and on Stornaway Island with some fellow cadets on an exercise. He suddenly became aware of some journalists on his tail and made good his escape by running off and seeking refuge in a pub. The landlord asked him what Charles would like to drink and he ordered a cherry brandy. Unfortunately a journalist was slumped in the seat beside Him. Two days later the story was all over Fleet Street and there was an inevitable and terrible row.
Subsequently it was revealed that cherry brandy was the only alcoholic drink the Prince had come across, gleaned from his time spent on shoots and hunts with his parents' friends. When He had asked what they were drinking they would pipe up ‘cherry brandy' - whether they were or not. According to one royal reporter HRH can hardly bring himself to talk about ‘the cherry brandy story' even now - probably because it is the last drink that would ever pass His lips today.
The Prince had obviously been shielded from the somewhat punchier nectar which had been fuelling His family down the centuries. King George IV apparently preferred illicit Glenlivet, Queen Victoria was once observed by Prime Minister Gladstone adding whisky to her
glass of claret and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles' father, is partial to a dram of Glenfiddi...