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Comment 02 JULY 2012

Queen receives the keys to Edinburgh as she begins week of Scottish celebrations

02 JULY 2012

The Queen has taken part an centuries-old ceremony to formally receive her in Edinburgh as she begins a week-long visit to Scotland to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.

During the event on Monday she was symbolically handed the keys to the city by the Lord Provost , who welcomed the monarch to her "ancient and hereditary kingdom of Scotland".



In line with tradition the Queen then returned the keys to Edinburgh's elected officials for safekeeping.

Afterwards, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, which reopened in December 2011 after a £17.6 million restoration. And the day finished with Prince Philip attending The Duke of Edinburgh gold awards.

The monarch spends a week every year in residence in Scotland, though 2012 is extra special, as it marks 60 years of her reign.

In celebration on Thursday, 400 pipers, drummers and dancers from local communities across the country will march down Edinburgh's Royal Mile.



The parade will take place after the Thistle Service at St Giles' Cathedral where Prince William, who is known as the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland, will be installed as a Knight of the Thistle. He will also be joined at the ceremony by hs wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Only 16 people hold a position within the Order of the Thistle, which can only be appointed by the Queen.

It is the highest order of Scottish chivalry, and is second only to the Order of the Garter.

Prince Charles, who is known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, was given the order during the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977 Other highlights of the week include a special service of thanksgiving at Glasgow Cathedral.

The royal couple will also travel to Perth to mark it's elevation to city status and host a garden party at Holyroodhouse.

The Queen's Scottish celebrations
  • Monday - The Queen will take part in the Ceremony of the Keys in Edinburgh followed by a visit to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery with Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Phillip to attend the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award in the evening .
  • Tuesday - Investiture at the Palace of Holyroodhouse followed by a Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.
  • Wednesday - Thanksgiving Service at Glasgow Cathedral followed by a visit to the city's George Square. The couple will then visit St Margaret’s Hospice and afterwards attend a lunch in the grounds of Our Holy Redeemer Primary School, Clydebank. The day ends with a visit to Cathcart Square and formally opening the Greenock Municipal Buildings .
  • Thursday - The royal couple will be joined by Princess Anne and the Countess of Strathearn at a Thistle Service at St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh where Prince William will be invested as a Knight of the Thistle, followed by lunch. The Queen and Phillip will end the day by attending The Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Presentations at Holyroodhouse.
  • Friday - The royal couple will visit Perth, where Her Majesty will be presented with the Keys to the City and the Duke will be presented with Freedom of the City. The pair will then visit Balhousie Castle's RHQ Black Watch Museum, Perth College and attend a luncheon at Scone Palace.


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