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Scots welcome thrifty Camilla

London, April 15: The Duchess of Cornwall was commended for her Scottish sense of thrift yesterday when she performed her first public duty as a member of the royal family wearing the same outfit for the third time in less than a week.

The Prince of Wales and his new wife ' wearing a tartan-trimmed red coat and a pearl choker and carrying a tartan wrap ' interrupted their honeymoon to open a children's play area in Ballater in a Highland downpour.

The newlyweds enjoyed an almost rapturous reception from a crowd of nearly 1,000 people, who were rewarded by a 15-minute walkabout.

Maryon Wight, 66, of Ballater, said she was delighted to see the duchess in the same coat and accessories that she wore when she arrived at Aberdeen airport to start her honeymoon on Saturday, and when she attended church at Crathie the following day.

'I think she looks beautiful,' she said. 'There is far too much pressure on women, especially women in the public eye, to change their outfits all the time. It makes good sense to make the most of something that suits you. Why on earth should she wear it once and then keep it hidden'

The duchess cut a ribbon with gold-plated scissors to declare the play area open. It was her first official duty as a duchess, and although she will face more onerous royal responsibilities, she is unlikely to receive a warmer welcome. Ballater, where several shops are 'by royal appointment' and supply produce to the nearby Balmoral estate, is fiercely monarchist.

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