Britain's Royal Family Was High In Highlands, Old Drug Records Show -- Drugstore Supplied Bounty Of Drugs

LONDON - Members of the British royal family and their guests were regularly supplied with cocaine, heroin and other narcotics while they were visiting the Scottish Highlands around the turn of the century, according to records which were published yesterday.

Evidence of the royal family's use of narcotics is contained in four ledgers, dating from 1897 to 1914, from A.R. Clark's drugstore in the village of Braemar, near the royal family's summer home, Balmoral, in northeast Scotland.

The records, published in the Aberdeen-based monthly Leopard, show that sleeping pills, bromides, chloroform and adrenalin also were supplied.

Menthol and cocaine lozenges were provided to be "sucked occasionally."

In 1906, Princess Louise received cocaine solutions and ointment.

In 1912, Winston Churchill, the future World War II prime minister who was then a member of Parliament, was sold a cocaine solution while he was staying at nearby Invercauld House.

The Countess of Londesborough received a mixture containing heroin while staying at Braemar Castle.

The tiny drugstore was established in 1897 and soon was granted a royal warrant to supply medicines.

The shop no longer exists, but the records were preserved by Sheila Sedgwick, whose late husband took over the business in the 1960s.

During the period covered by the ledgers, the narcotics and stimulants were not controlled by law in Great Britain, and such drugs were routinely used in order to treat medical problems.

Laws controlling the use of cocaine and heroin in Britain came into effect in the 1920s.