'You can taste the girders', says Prince William as he samples Irn-Bru during factory visit with the Queen

ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship reports on the Queen and her grandson's visit to the Irn-Bru factory in Scotland

The Duke of Cambridge has declared “you can taste the girders in it” while taking a sip of Irn-Bru during a factory visit with the Queen.William - who is known as the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland - joined his grandmother at AG Barr’s factory near Glasgow and officially opened the company’s new process facility.

After touring the plant with the Queen, the Duke was offered a drink and was asked by commercial director Jonathan Kemp if he had tried Irn-Bru when he was a student at the University of St Andrews in Fife.

“Not St Andrews,” he replied, but added that Irn-Bru was often a part of lunches during his time in the armed forces, and after raising his glass and sipping he said it was “delicious”.

William was intrigued when upstream manager Colin Reilly brought over a small jar containing the clear essence of Irn-Bru – with the recipe a secret only known to three people.

After taking a long sniff, the Duke said: “I’m trying to guess what’s in it but that’s quite hard, isn’t it?”

Mr Reilly said: “I’d love to tell you,” and William smiled as he replied: “This is a closely guarded secret.”

Watch the Queen arrive at the Irn-Bru factory in Scotland

Irn-Bru was launched in 1901 and has become a key brand in Scotland, rivalling whisky as the country’s national drink.The Queen and the Duke met employees and was given an overview of the history of the company.

Credit: PA

The Queen is carrying out a series of events over the next four days with members of her family as part of her traditional trip to Scotland known as Holyrood Week.

The 95-year-old, who has continued with her duties as head of state despite grieving for her late husband, is staying at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, her official residence in Scotland.

The Queen opened a new part of the factory on her visit. Credit: PA

As she arrived at the palace the Queen was greeted with the Ceremony of the Keys which saw the monarch handed the keys of the city and welcomed to “your ancient and hereditary kingdom of Scotland” by Edinburgh Lord Provost Frank Ross.

She is symbolically offered the keys to the city by the Lord Provost and tradition dictates that the Queen then returns them, entrusting their safekeeping to Edinburgh’s elected officials.

The Queen inspected the Guard of Honour on the forecourt of the Palace and met with local government key workers, speaking to them about their roles during the pandemic.

The Queen and the Duke of Cambridge were given a tour of the factory. Credit: PA

The Queen will be joined later in the week by her daughter Anne, the Princess Royal.

Holyrood Week, also known as Royal Week, was cancelled last year because of the pandemic.

This year, in line with Covid guidelines, traditional events hosting thousands of people such as the garden party at Holyroodhouse will not take place.

In a series of tweets on Sunday, Buckingham Palace emphasised the Queen’s long-standing links to Scotland.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh meet guests during a garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh in July 2014 Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA

It said: “Tomorrow, The Queen will arrive in Scotland for #RoyalWeek2021 Royal Week, or ‘Holyrood Week’, takes place each Summer as The Queen and Members of the Royal Family undertake visits across Scotland celebrating Scottish culture, achievement and communities.

“Her Majesty is connected to Scotland by ancestry and deeply held affection. As well as spending family Summers at Balmoral Castle, The Queen has visited almost every area of Scotland from the Outer Hebrides to Dumfries, meeting Scots from all walks of life.”

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