TWO decades on from turning down an invitation from the Queen, Troon man Dougie Graham finally made it to the Palace of Holyrood, writes Stewart McConnell.

The Troon Community Council vice-chairman and his wife Kate last Wednesday attended the annual Garden Party at the iconic Edinburgh venue and met other guests including former work colleague and ex-Troon MP Sir Brian Donohoe.

He said: “It was great to meet Brian and I congratulated him on his knighthood.

“He was an apprentice when I worked at Ailsa Shipyard. I was invited to Holyrood more than 20 years ago and said I couldn’t make it as we had booked a cruise. So it was great to go and it’s a day I wont forget. I believe it was there through my involvement in community work. Prince Edward was just 10 yards away and

Princess Anne was close. We saw the Queen arrive.”

Among the guests the Grahams rubbed shoulders with in the capital were former chairwoman of Sport Scotland Louise Martin, who brought the Commonwealth Games to Glasgow in 2014, and Scotland rugby great and MND campaigner Doddie Weir, who received his OBE from the Queen the previous day.