The Army in Scotland has been busy supporting HM The Queen and the Royal Family during Royal Week in Scotland. Her Majesty attend the Ceremony of the Keys at Holyrood Palace as well as an Act of Loyalty by the Armed Forces. She also met a large number of people from across Scotland at a Garden Party.
The Army also provided the Guard of Honour at the annual Order of The Thistle Service at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh attended by members of the Royal Family.
The Guard of Honour was from The Royal Regiment of Scotland, and accompanying Her Majesty were her personal guard from the Royal Company of Archers providing the pageantry and pomp as members of one of the oldest orders of Chivalry.
The current Order of The Thistle was founded in 1687 by King James who asserted he was reviving an earlier order. It consists of The Sovereign and 16 knights or ladies as well as a few additional knights drawn from the British Royal Family and foreign monarchs recognised for their service to Scotland.
“We, representatives of all ranks in the Armed Forces serving in Scotland, bound by our Oath to serve Your Majesty, your heirs and successors, and marking the 200th anniversary of the presentation of the key to George IV in 1822 and this 70th anniversary of Your reign, I offer this key for your acceptance to your Royal Fortress of Edinburgh Castle.” Major General Alastair Bruce of Crionaich, Governor of Edinburgh Castle
The Act of Loyalty this year was reminiscent of that arranged in 1822 for the visit to Scotland by King George IV – the first by a reigning monarch to Scotland in almost 200 years.
Senior officers from the Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Airforce paraded in front of Her Majesty in the gardens of Holyrood Palace where the Keys to Edinburgh Castle were presented by the Governor, Major General Alastair Bruce stating “We, representatives of all ranks in the Armed Forces serving in Scotland, bound by our Oath to serve Your Majesty, your heirs and successors, and marking the 200th anniversary of the presentation of the key to George IV in 1822 and this 70th anniversary of Your reign, I offer this key for your acceptance to your Royal Fortress of Edinburgh Castle.”
Her Majesty returned the key stating “I return the key to the safekeeping of My Governor of Edinburgh Castle, in gratitude for the symbolic Act of Loyalty of Our Armed Forces, confident of your faithful allegiance to your oath”.
Supported by The Band of The Royal Marines Scotland and the Pipes and Drums of The Royal Regiment of Scotland the ceremony also included other ranks from the three services as well as Sea, Army and Airforce Cadets.
The Senior Officers included Brigadier Andy Muddiman RM for the Royal Navy, Major General William Wright CBE for the Army and Air Vice Marshall Ross Paterson CB CBE ADC DL for the Royal Air Force.
The Act of Loyalty dates back to 1822 when King George IV visited Scotland and publicly wore Royal Stuart tartan and full highland regalia on the advice of Sir Walter Scott.
The keys to Edinburgh Castle will now be given a new attached token to show that they were presented to HM Majesty in her Platinum Jubilee year and will be returned to their display within the Edinburgh Castle.