The Speaker
Saturday, 18 May 2024 – 11:41

Queen joined Scottish politicians to celebrate 20 years of Holyrood

The Queen has spoken of her “great affection for Scotland” whilst marking 20 years of Scotland’s devolution.

She was accompanied by her son Prince Charles, who holds the title of the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland.

A ceremony took place two decades on from when legal powers were officially passed to Holyrood on 1 July 1999 – and young people born on that date accompanied members of Scottish parliament (MSPs) at the event.

The Queen wore a blue coat and hat with a white floral dress for the occasion and spoke of her affection for Scotland during her address.

She said:

“We fondly remember that proud day when new members gathered in the Assembly Hall to celebrate Scotland’s first parliament in 300 years.

“It has been with great pleasure that over the years I have watched Scotland grow and prosper, and have been with you at each stage of your parliamentary life, including on landmark occasions such as today.

“Twenty years on, this chamber continues to be at the centre of Scottish public life, as an important forum to engage and unite diverse communities and also a home for passionate debate and discussion.”

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon reflected on the “enthusiasm” of its members when the parliament when the parliament was first opened.

In her speech, she said:  There were times perhaps, especially in the first few years of the parliament, when the sense of challenge possibly outweighed the sense of optimism. 

She added there had been times where the parties in Holyrood had “passionately disagreed” on many issues, but highlighted when they worked together.

The ceremony also featured performances of music, poetry and song celebrating Scottish culture.

The modern parliament was set up two years after Scotland voted overwhelmingly for devolution in a referendum in 1997. It initially sat at the General Assembly in Edinburgh before moving to its £431m purpose-built home at Holyrood in 2004.

The Queen was last in the landmark building in July 2016, marking the opening of the fifth session of the parliament.

Young people who were born on the day the devolved parliament was convened on 1 July 1999 were also part of the celebrations. The so-called “1 July babies” were also an integral part of the 10thanniversary celebrations in 2009.

Presiding Officer, Ken Macintosh told them that “you carry with you all our dreams, all our ambitions and all our hopes for the future”.







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