Holyrood Week

Each year, the Monarch spends a week visiting various regions in Scotland, meeting Scots from all walks of life and hosting thousands at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in recognition of their good work. Known in Scotland as 'Royal Week', and to others as 'Holyrood Week', these visits celebrate Scottish culture, achievement and community. Holyrood week normally takes place from the end of June to the beginning of July.

The King and Queen in Scotland

What happens during Holyrood Week?

Holyrood Week always begins on the forecourt of Holyrood Palace with the Ceremony of the Keys. The King is welcomed into the city of Edinburgh, 'your ancient and hereditary kingdom of Scotland' by the Lord Provost, who offers him the keys of the city. 

The Ceremony of Keys at Holyroodhouse

There is an Investiture during the week, held in the Great Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which is located at the end of the Royal Mile in the centre of Edinburgh. The Investiture recognises Scottish residents who have made a significant contribution to their society. 

A Garden Party is held, where The King welcomes around 8,000 people from all walks of Scottish life to spend a relaxed afternoon with him in the beautiful grounds of the Palace. The King and Queen proceed down avenues, speaking to a selection of guests. The Party is accompanied by music from regimental bands and The Royal Scottish Pipers Society. 

The King (as The Prince of Wales) hosts a Garden Party at Holyroodhouse

These avenues, and the 'Grand Circle', where The King and Queen reconvene, are created by The Royal Company of Archers, who are The King's official bodyguards in Scotland. Since 1822, the Company have been available for duty to The Sovereign anywhere in Scotland. 

The King (as The Prince of Wales) with The Royal Company of Archers)

Holyrood Week may also sometimes include the Thistle Service at St Giles' Cathedral. In June 2023, it was announced that The Queen had been appointed to the Order of the Thistle.

The King attends the Order of the Thistle

What else does The King do during the week?

Apart from these regular engagements, The King also undertakes a number of regional Scottish engagements which vary from year to year.