THE official opening of Falcon Square in May heralded the opening of the £70 million extension of the Eastgate Shopping Centre.
The ceremony was carried out by Prince Andrew – also the Earl of Inverness – who unveiled a new monument, the Mercat Cross.
It was designed by Highland sculptor Gerald Laing and cast at the Black Isle Bronze foundry near Nairn, owned by his son, Farquhar.
During his visit, the prince was taken on a guided tour of the shopping centre extension which featured a food court and new malls plus a bridge link to the original centre.
The extension was deemed one of "the most impressive planning projects in Scotland in recent years" and was the overall winner of the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning 2003.
While in Inverness, Prince Andrew launched the public appeal for a £10 million extension at Eden Court Theatre.