Holyrood Week 2018


Each year, The Queen 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. 

During the week, Her Majesty is based at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, her official residence in Scotland.

The palace and its grounds are rich in Royal history.

We'll be updating this page each day throughout Holyrood Week, or you can follow events live on our Twitter account @RoyalFamily. 

Day One

Holyrood Week began - as tradition dictates - with the 'Ceremony of the Keys', an ancient ceremony that happens every time the Sovereign visits the City of Edinburgh.

During the ceremony, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh presents the keys of the City to Her Majesty. 

Day Two

An Investiture is held at the Palace of Holyroodhouse each year at which people who live and work in Scotland are rewarded for their work in a huge variety of different fields. Recipients will have been notified of their honour in the New Year's Honours and Birthday Honours lists which are announced in January and June, but this is the moment when they get to receive their insignia and meet The Queen. 

The event is a celebration of Scottish achievement, made all the more special because of the spectacular surroundings of the Palace of Holyroodhouse and its grounds. 

The Duke of York is also in Scotland this week, and in the morning he visited Methil Sea and Royal Marine Cadets in Fife – His Royal Highness is Admiral of the Marine Society and Sea Cadets and The Queen is Patron. Methil & District Sea Cadets was first formed in 1942, and the current unit was opened by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in 1982.

In the afternoon, The Duke visited Heroes Drink Company in Edinburgh – a drinks company that supports Britain’s military community by donating a minimum of 20% of their profits to military charities.

In the evening, The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of York and The Earl of Wessex, attended a Parade and Reception for the No. 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron RauxAF.

As part of #RAF100, the Squadron have been honoured with the Freedom of The City of Edinburgh. Her Majesty, or Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth as she was then, became Honorary Air Commodore in 1951 - something that continued after her coronation in 1953.

Day Three

Day 3 started with audiences at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. 

Throughout the year, The Queen holds many Audiences, which allow her to maintain close ties with officials from the UK, the Commonwealth, and across the world.

In the afternoon The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of York and The Earl of Wessex, hosted 8,000 people for a Garden Party in the beautiful grounds of the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Guests are invited from all walks of life as way to reward public service and work in the community.

Three Garden Parties a year are hosted at Buckingham Palace, with the fourth at Holyroodhouse during Royal Week. Although many things are the same at the two locations, at Holyrood the Sovereign's Body Guard is provided by the Royal Company of Archers, rather than the Yeoman of the Guard.

The first Holyrood Garden Party was hosted in 1911 by King George V and Queen Mary.

At an average Garden Party 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are served.

Day Four

On day four of Holyrood Week, The Queen, Colonel-in-Chief, visited The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers & Greys) at their base in Leuchars.

The Regiment was formed in 1971 by the amalgamation of The Royal Scots Greys and the 3rdCarabiniers (Prince of Wales’s Dragoon Guards). Their most famous battle honour, The Battle of Waterloo, which was fought by the current Regiment’s antecedent Regiment, The Scots Greys, is commemorated on their Cap Badge, along with the French Eagle.

The Regiment, including veterans and cadets, put on parade, which was then inspected by Her Majesty.

The new Standard was then laid on a drumhead altar and consecrated, The Queen then officially presented it to the Regiment.

Following the ceremony, Her Majesty was able to meet a number of soldiers, their families and veterans.

The Duke of Cambridge was also in Edinburgh - he is known as The Earl of Strathearn in Scotland.

Following his visit to the Royal Society, His Royal Highness attended a Service of Commemoration at the Scottish National War Memorial.

Back at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, The Earl of Wessex hosted Garden Parties for those who have achieved their Duke of Edinburgh's Award Gold Award.



Day Five

on the final day of Holyrood Week, The Queen, joined by The Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and The Princess Royal attended the Order of the Thistle Service at St Giles' Cathedral.

The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is the highest honour in Scotland. The mantle of the Order is a dark green velvet, lined with white with an embroidered representation of the Star on the left.

The collar consists of a gold & enamel chain, representing a single thistle & 4 interlinked sprigs of rue, with an enamelled badge featuring St Andrew who carries the cross of his matrydom.

Today's Service also marked the Installation of The Duke of Buccleuch and Sir Ian Wood as Knights of the Thistle.

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