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Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York, Patron of the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, officially launched Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail at Prestonfield House Hotel today.

Alyssa poses beside Wullie’s Rainbow with HRH Princess Beatrice Patron of the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity at Prestonfield House Hotel

Alyssa (8) from Prestonfield Primary School is the designer behind the sculpture called Wullie’s Rainbow that we saw outside Prestonfield House. She told us : “I thought the rainbow would be a good colour to choose. I like rainbow colours. On the day when the winner was announced I was just sitting there in the hall thinking I was not going to win. When they said my name I went all red in the face and I was so excited!

“I helped to paint Oor Wullie at our school. Prestonfield Primary School is a fun school – very good for your education!

“I think it looks cool. Yesterday on Princes Street I saw two of the figures. I saw a tartan one, but I think mine is the best ever.”

The artist Tom Morgan-Jones interpreted Alyssa’s design of the sculpture which you will be able to see on Chambers Street near the Tower Restaurant which is owned by James Thomson who also owns Prestonfield House where the launch was held today.

Eddie Hawthorne is Chief Executive and Group Managing Director at Arnold Clark who are the National Sponsor of the Big Bucket Trail. He told The Edinburgh Reporter : “There are three fantastic charities in Glasgow Edinburgh and ARCHIE in Aberdeen and the number of kids that this is going to help is phenomenal. It fits ideally with us and the geographic locations of our branches so it was a no-brainer really! I like Oor Billy but you would have to come and see him in Buchanan Street in Glasgow, but then I haven’t seen them all yet.”

Lady Philomena Clark Chairman of Arnold Clark and her daughter Lucy Clark with Wullie’s Rainbow – Arnold Clark are the national sponsors of the event. PHOTO ©2019 The Edinburgh Reporter

The trail is the first of its kind in five of Scotland’s major cities over the next 11 weeks. 200 life-sized Oor Wullie sculptures are taking to the streets in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness supporting children’s hospital charities and celebrating Scotland’s Oor Wullie.

Scotland’s children’s hospital charities (Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, The ARCHIE Foundation and Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity) have joined forces with international arts events company, Wild in Art, and DC Thomson Media, custodians of Oor Wullie, to create the trail.  The project aims to significantly boost Scotland’s provision for children and young people in hospital by raising essential funds through the trail and associated events and sculpture auctions. This is the first time that all of Scotland’s children’s hospital charities have united for the same worthy cause.  Her Royal Highness will meet children from across Scotland who have benefitted from 
the work of the charities.

The trail across Scotland comprises of 200 life-sized, bespoke designed Oor Wullie sculptures across 700 miles. From June to September, the trail is expected to attract over one million members of the public who will be encouraged to explore the country with free maps and a downloadable app, in order to ‘spot’ all sculptures in the trail.  A further 350 ‘wee’ sculptures decorated by local schools, youth and community groups will accompany the main trail, forming mini trails in local libraries, art galleries, shopping centres and public spaces where families can take part in fun activities. 

This was part of a busy day for Princess Beatrice who began the day with children and young people who have benefitted from the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity Centre and young cancer patients who have been supported by the Teenage Cancer Trust of which HRH has been Patron for the last three years.

She then visited the Scottish Storytelling Centre where she joined a storytelling session with Ed Vere the 2019 winner of the Oscars Book Prize. She is also patron of that award which aims to highlight the importance of reading with children.

Finally in the late afternoon HRH joined supporters of Outward Bound at a reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Princess Beatrice is a trustee of the charity.