King Charles Sports a Hard Hat at Family-Run Sawmill During Stop in Scotland

King Charles previously visited James Jones and Sons Limited when he was the Prince of Wales

King Charles is kicking off the workweek near Balmoral Castle.

On Tuesday, the King, 74, visited James Jones and Sons Limited sawmill in Aboyne, Scotland. The family-owned and managed forest products company is currently in its fifth generation of leadership, and the company hub is not far from the King’s private residence where the royal family retreats for the summer months.

Charles traveled to James Jones sawmill to learn more about how the recently refurbished facility has increased production of construction timber as a renewable, recyclable building product to high carbon intensive alternatives like steel and concrete.

<p>PA Images/INSTARimages</p>

PA Images/INSTARimages

King Charles seemed to be in good spirits as he arrived, where he was greeted by the Lord-Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire and Tom R. Bruce-Jones, chairman of James Jones and Sons Limited. The trio took a tour of the facility — which Charles has checked out before. The King previously visited the Scottish sawmill in 1999 while he was the Prince of Wales (the title Charles announced Prince William would hold in his first speech as King).

The monarch got a glimpse of the action from a log sorting cabin before walking across a flood defense area installed after a deluge in 2015, and taking a tour of the main sawmill’s operations room.

<p>PA Images/INSTARimages</p> King Charles visits James Jones and Sons sawmill in Aboyne, Scotland on Oct. 3

PA Images/INSTARimages

King Charles visits James Jones and Sons sawmill in Aboyne, Scotland on Oct. 3

Related: Royal Family Website Crashed Over the Weekend After Cyberattack by Pro-Russia Hackers: Reports

The King also met mill officials including the site manager, primary processing manager and sawline operator to learn more about their work. From there, he moved to the treatment plant to chat with longtime employees, apprentices and a gap year student.

Capping the trip with a royal flourish, King Charles unveiled a plaque celebrating the visit and signed a visitor’s book.

James Jones and Sons Limited operates in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, and is involved in sawmilling, timber engineering, pallet manufacturing, forestry and land management, biomass and windfarms — specialties surely of interest to King Charles, a lifelong environmentalist. The Aboyne sawmill opened its doors in 1962 and was rebuilt in 1991, producing a range of sawn timber such as fencing and pallet wood, mainly for the Scottish market.

<p>PA Images/INSTARimages</p> King Charles visits James Jones and Sons sawmill in Aboyne, Scotland on Oct. 3

PA Images/INSTARimages

King Charles visits James Jones and Sons sawmill in Aboyne, Scotland on Oct. 3

Related: Royal Family Reveals Rare Fact About King Charles Amid Surprise Outing in Scotland

The hub recently underwent an $18 million enhancement with new technology to meet the needs of today’s market. Its sawline can transform one large log into smaller pieces with a single pass, and sustainably use all of the wood for market, horticulture and heating kilns for timber drying.

King Charles’ latest engagement comes a few days after he paid an unannounced visit to the Global Underwater Hub in Aberdeenshire. King Charles checked out exhibits on underwater diving technology, underwater 3D image-capturing and eco-friendly artificial reefs, and he mingled with officials and senior students from the nearby Mintlaw Academy.

The Global Underwater Hub is the leading trade and industry development body for the underwater sectors in the United Kingdom, and it represents businesses operating in the U.K.’s $9.7 billion underwater industry. The organization’s office is an hour's drive from Balmoral and Birkhall Estate, where the King and Queen Camilla might have spent time following their three-day state visit to France from Sept. 20 to 22.

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Charles and Camilla, 76, seem to be continuing Queen Elizabeth’s tradition of starting the fall in Scotland. Queen Elizabeth, who died in September 2022 at age 96, traditionally spent the late summer months, when Buckingham Palace was open to the public, at her cherished sanctuary in the Scottish Highlands.

On Sunday, the couple drove themselves to Crathie Kirk Church near Balmoral for a Sunday service at the British royal family's go-to place of worship during Scotland stays.

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