Unexpected Royal Visitor

Visiting golfers, members and local residents couldn’t believe their eyes on Wednesday 14th July 2010, when Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Phillip made an unexpected visit to Musselburgh Links.



Around 10.30am a helicopter was seen hovering over Musselburgh Links, then without any warning made a decent landing just in front of the first tee.  The pilot and co-pilot jumped down from the aircraft and approached Golf Starter Kenny Armstrong, asking the exact street name and postcode of the course.  They explained that they could not land in Edinburgh due to the bad weather (fog) and Musselburgh Links had been the closest place to Holyrood.


It was then that Kenny and fellow onlooker Robin McGregor, secretary of the Musselburgh Old Course Golf Club spotted the royal crest on the back of the helicopter.


“I knew that the Queen was holding her garden party at the Palace of Holyrood House, so I knew instantly that the helicopter must be for her” explained Kenny.  “About 15-20 minutes later, a convoy of about eight police motorbikes arrived. Having already shut off the road, they guarded the gate of the golf course allowing two Range Rovers to drive up to the Starter's Hut.  Security guards got out of the first one, and the Queen and Prince Philip stepped out from the second one.


The Queen then turned towards the small crowd that had gathered and said “Something unexpected today – a bit of a surprise!” She gave a quick wave before walking across the golf course and entering the helicopter, which quickly took off again.



A group of visiting American golfers were playing on the course at the time of the Queen’s arrival.  Speaking to Robin McGregor, they had remarked, “We can see Tiger Woods any day, but you don’t get to see the Queen very often”.  It definitely made their trip to Musselburgh Links a memorable one!

Reputedly Mary Queen of Scots played on Musselburgh Links more than 400 years ago.  And not since then has a member of the royal family had the opportunity to visit the course.  Although it would appear she didn’t have time for a quick 9 holes, Queen Elizabeth II's  visit to Musselburgh Links on 14th July 2010 will certainly go down in the course's history books!