Church Organist Gets Surprise Visit From Prince Charles

The Prince of Wales has honoured a near-nonagenarian church organist as part of his annual Scotland visit.

At 89 years old, Miss Edmondson began playing the organ at the age of 14 and has played the instrument in various churches for 75 years.

Prince Charles, who is known as a Duke of Rothsay in Scotland, attended a service at Canisbay Parish Church in Caithness where he presented organist Mary Edmondson with a basket of flowers.

The future king was invited to make the presentation by the Rev Janet Easton-Berry. She said: “Mary has been playing the organ in various churches and denominations for 75 years and started playing at Canisbay Church when she was 81 years old.

“She is an amazing lady and much loved, so we wanted to organise a special surprise for her during the annual Royal Service.

“I told her at the last minute what was going to happen and the look of surprise on her face was wonderful because she did not have a clue.

“Prince Charles told her that she must be the most longstanding organist, having played for 75 years old and still going.”

The Prince of Wales congratulated Miss Edmondson on her dedication. He delivered a letter from the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, who described her as ‘truly inspirational.’

The royal is currently enjoying his annual stay at the Castle of Mey, near John O’Groats, which belonged to the late Queen Mother and he attends Canisbay Parish Church when he is staying there.

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Prince Charles is the heir apparent to the British throne as the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

He has been heir apparent as well as Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay since 1952 and is both the oldest and the longest-serving heir apparent in British history.

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