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Sturgeon bows to King Charles at Scottish Parliament and pays tribute to Queen’s bond

The King was joined by the Queen Consort at the debating chamber where tributes to the nation’s longest-reigning monarch are being heard. Charles and Camilla were received in the Queensberry House courtyard by Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone and Deputy Presiding Officers Liam McArthur and Annabelle Ewing.

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The King then met the Scottish First Minister, Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross, Anas Sarwar of Scottish Labour, Lorna Slater of the Scottish Greens and Alex Cole-Hamilton of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

The SNP leader kicked off tributes in the Scottish Parliament.

Sturgeon bows to King Charles at Scottish Parliament and pays t

Ms Sturgeon said Scotland “stands ready” to support Charles as he continues his mother’s dedication to public service.

She said: “We are honoured by the presence today of His Majesty, King Charles III, and The Queen Consort.

“Your Majesty, we stand ready to support you, as you continue your own life of service – and as you build on the extraordinary legacy of your beloved mother, our Queen.

“Queen Elizabeth, Queen of Scots – we are grateful for her life. May She now rest in peace.”

Following the tributes, Charles responded by saying: “I know that the Scottish Parliament and the people of Scotland share with me a profound sense of grief at the death of my beloved mother.

“Through all the years of her reign, the Queen, like so many generations of our family before her, found in the hills of this land, and in the hearts of its people, a haven and a home.

“My mother felt, as I do, the greatest admiration for the Scottish people, for their magnificent achievements and their indomitable spirit.

“And it was the greatest comfort for her to know, in turn, the true affection in which she was held.

“The knowledge of that deep and abiding bond must be to us a solace as we mourn the end of a life of incomparable service.”

The new King added that he was “determined” to follow the “inspiring example” of his mother.

Earlier on Monday, Charles led a poignant procession walking behind the late Queen’s coffin from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles’ Cathedral where a service of thanksgiving was held.

 

Sturgeon bows to King Charles at Scottish Parliament and pays t

The new King was joined by Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Princess Anne and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence for the emotional walk as crowds lined the streets.

The coffin, draped with Royal Standard in Scotland and dressed with a wreath of flowers, was carried in a hearse up the Royal Mile as well-wishers watched on.

Camilla, who is now Queen Consort, and the Countess of Wessex followed behind in cars for the service of prayer and reflection.

At one point a woman cried out “God bless the Queen” as the hearse made its way past, while members of the public held their phones high to capture the sombre moment.

The late Queen’s coffin was lifted out of the hearse and brought into the place of worship, with the King, the Queen Consort, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York, and the Earl and the Countess of Wessex walking behind.

It was placed on a decorated wooden frame as the congregation stood, meanwhile members of the Royal Family walked to their seats. Charles took his place with his wife to his left and Andrew to his right.

At the beginning of the service, Reverend Calum MacLeod welcomed the Royal Family, “representatives of our nation’s life” and “people whose lives were touched by the Queen in so many unforgettable ways”.

He said: “And so we gather to bid Scotland’s farewell to our late monarch, whose life of service to the nation and the world we celebrate. And whose love for Scotland was legendary.”

The Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, told the packed congregation that the late Queen had “gone home”. He said the service was taking place to “express our thanks to God, for her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s extraordinary life”.

Sturgeon bows to King Charles at Scottish Parliament and pays t

He continued: “Most of us cannot recall a time when she was not our monarch. Committed to the role she assumed in 1952 upon the death of her beloved father, she has been a constant in our lives for 70 years. Determined to see her work as a form of service to others, she maintained that steady course until the end of her life.”

The Rev Greenshields added: “Today we give thanks not only for the length of her reign but for the qualities she displayed so steadfastly.”

Mourners heard a reading of Ecclesiastes from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, as well as words from Nigerian student Samuel Nwokoro, and others.

The service ended with the national anthem, God Save The King, before the royal party left. Members of the congregation bowed and curtseyed as they walked past. Applause could be heard when the Royal Family stepped out of the place of worship.

The late Queen’s coffin is due to rest at the cathedral for 24 hours where the public can pay their respects before it is taken to London to lie in state.

It comes after Charles and Camilla flew to Edinburgh earlier today.

In his first official engagement as King of Scotland, Charles III arrived at his official residence for the historic Ceremony of the Keys at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

The King inspected the Guard of Honour and was welcomed to Edinburgh by Lord Provost Robert Aldridge, where he was symbolically handed the keys to the city.

Tradition dictates that the monarch returns them, entrusting their safekeeping to the city’s elected officials.

The Queen’s coffin will be taken to London tomorrow for a period of lying in state in the Palace of Westminster until her state funeral next Monday.

The country will mark the occasion with a national bank holiday.

Sturgeon bows to King Charles at Scottish Parliament and pays t

It was initially estimated that 40,000 people would turn up each day to pay their respects but Whitehall chiefs in charge of logistics for the five-night London vigil have since estimated that more than 750,000 may wish to attend.

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said “unprecedented demand” is anticipated and warned the queue could be as long as 30 hours.

Earlier today, Charles addressed Parliament at Westminster Hall, paying tribute to “the late sovereign, my beloved mother, the Queen”.

Quoting Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, the new King said the late Queen had been “a pattern to all princes living”.

He added: “We gather today in remembrance of the remarkable span of the Queen’s dedicated service to her nations and peoples.

“While very young, her late Majesty pledged herself to serve her country and her people and to maintain the precious principles of constitutional government which lie at the heart of our nation.

“This vow she kept with unsurpassed devotion. She set an example of selfless duty which, with God’s help and your counsels, I am resolved faithfully to follow.”

Meanwhile, Ms Sturgeon today paid tribute to the late Queen, describing her as being the “anchor of our nation”.

She said the royal matriarch was a “great constant” in an “ever-changing world, especially in turbulent times”.

The Scottish First Minister also spoke about the late Queen’s “genuine love of Scotland” and her “profound sense of public service”, which Ms Sturgeon said “never faltered”.

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