Queen to address sixth opening ceremony of Scottish Parliament

The Queen is to address MSPs at Holyrood’s official opening as part of a special ceremony that will celebrate the efforts of “local heroes” during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The opening ceremony for the sixth session of the devolved Scottish Parliament is due to take place on Saturday October 2.

Her Majesty will be joined by the Prince of Wales and his wife, Camilla, who are known as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland.

Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone said MSPs were ‘honoured’ that the Queen would be at the opening ceremony (Russell Cheyne/PA)
Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone said MSPs were ‘honoured’ that the Queen would be at the opening ceremony (Russell Cheyne/PA)

With Scottish elections having been held in May, Holyrood Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone said the Parliament had already started its latest session with “renewed hope, energy and determination”.

She added: “We are honoured that Her Majesty The Queen and Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay will join us in marking the beginning of this new chapter.

“The past year and a half has been immensely challenging, but we look forward to recognising and celebrating local heroes from across Scotland for their contributions to their communities during this pandemic.”

Ms Johnstone continued: “Our opening ceremonies have always sought to bring the people, the Parliament and The Queen together. This tradition will continue and the people will be at the heart of our proceedings once again.”

In June, the Parliament launched a nationwide search for Scotland’s “local heroes”, so Holyrood could recognise those people who have made extraordinary efforts to help the community during coronavirus.

So that all regions of Scotland will be represented, every MSP has been asked to select and nominate someone to take part in the events.

More details of the opening ceremony, including performers at the event, will be announced later.