Holyrood Week 2023

Published 03 July 2023

His Majesty’s first Holyrood Week as Monarch took in the best of Scottish culture, and saw thousands of people line the streets of Edinburgh to see Their Majesties process to St Giles' Cathedral for a service marking the recent Coronation.

Holyrood Week

Day One

Holyrood Week 2023 has begun with a visit to a number of charities and initiatives in Falkirk. The King was greeted the 'Bo'ness Fair Queen', Lexi Scotland, during his visit to Kinneil House in Edinburgh.

The King is greeted by the Bo'ness Fair Queen, Lexi Scotland.

 His Majesty met representatives from The Princes Trust, Cycling Without Age Scotland and Sustainable Thinking Scotland, marking the first Holyrood Week since his coronation. 

The King is greeted by schoolchildren
The King meets volunteers and beneficiaries of Cycling Without Age Scotland

His Majesty later took part in the Ceremony of the Keys at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh: a traditional welcome to the Monarch as Holyrood Week begins. 

The Ceremony of the Keys

The ceremony saw His Majesty be presented with the keys of the City of Edinburgh by Lord Provost as well as inspecting the Royal Company of Archers on the palace forecourt. 

The King inspects the Royal Company of Archers

In the evening, The King was on familiar territory on a visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia, marking 25 years since her arrival in Edinburgh.

The King onboard Britannia

His Majesty met staff from The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust and former crew and toured areas of the yacht including the Engine Room, Laundry and Rolls Royce Garage.

The King onboard Britannia

Day Two

Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse
A Garden Party is held each year at the Palace of Holyroodhouse - the Monarch's official residence in Scotland - to thank extraordinary individuals from across Scotland who have contributed to public life in a significant way.

The King meets guests at a Garden Party

The year's - the first attended by His Majesty since his Accession - also marked The King and Queen's Coronation.

The Queen meets guests at a Garden Party
The Princess Royal at a Garden Party

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

Today The King and Queen helped celebrate 75 years of the NHS with a visit to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

The King and Queen meet well-wishers at the hospital

His Majesty learnt more about the care and facilities provided at Lothian’s Medicine of the Elderly Meaningful Activity Centre which has been developed by the Medicine of the Elderly Service to support older patients during their hospital stay.

The King meets elderly patients at the hospital

Meanwhile, Her Majesty met staff and new parents at Simpsons Centre for Reproductive Health.Each year, NHS Lothian provides care during pregnancy, birth and postnatally for around 9,000 women, pregnant women and their babies. The labour ward typically sees around 12-15 new arrivals every day, with all these new mums and babies being cared for within the Post Natal Wards.

The King and Queen cut a cake to mark 75 years of the NHS

The Lothian Region has the second largest residential population in Scotland, with more than 850,000 people, and its population is growing faster than anywhere else in Scotland. NHS Lothian also provides services for patients in Borders and Fife, as well as a number of specialist services for patients across Scotland.

The infirmary has occupied four sites in the city, 'moving house' three times in three centuries. At its new base at Little France in the south-east of Edinburgh, it remains delivering healthcare to patients.

His Majesty held Audiences with First Minister Humza Yousaf and Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. 

The King with the First Minister of Scotland

As Head of State, Audiences with Ministers and key diplomatic figures are an important part of His Majesty's day-to-day work.

The King with the Presiding Officer

The Jubilee Gates

Earlier in the day, The King and Queen viewed the new Jubilee Gates which commemorate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II at the entrance to Abbey Yard at the Place of Holyroodhouse.

The King and Queen unveil a plaque to mark the construction of the new gates

His Majesty was accompanied by representatives of The High Constables who commissioned the gates.

The Society of High Constables of Edinburgh can trace its history back to 1611 when it was formed following an Act of James VI. Today the Society provides a ceremonial rolefor the City of Edinburgh Council. There is also a separate charity constituted under the name of The Charitable Trust of the Society of High Constables of Edinburgh.

Day Three

Day Three of Holyrood Week was dominated by a procession and service to mark Their Majesties' Coronation earlier in the year.

Members of the Royal family in St Giles

The procession - which moved through the crowd-lined streets of central Edinburgh, included 'The People's Procession' made up of representatives from different areas of public service including the NHS and emergency services.

Each year, and Investiture is held at the. Palace of Holyroodhouse during Holyrood Week bringing together recent honours recipients based in Scotland so that they can be presented with their awards.

Investiture in Edinburgh

This was the first Scottish Investiture held by The King since his Accession.

Investiture in Edinburgh

Recipients included Swimmer Hannah Miley, Professor Sir Aziz Sheikh, Professor of Primary Care Research & Development and Director of the Usher Institute at The University of Edinburgh.

Investiture in Edinburgh

The Queen began Day Three of Holyrood Week with a visit to Dovecot Studios to meet weavers, staff, and local crafts people.

The Queen at Dovecote Studios

Dovecot is a world-renowned tapestry studio in the heart of Edinburgh and a landmark centre for contemporary art, craft and design. 

The Queen at Dovecote Studios


Day Four

The final day of Holyrood Week 2023 began with The King and Queen’s visit to The Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre in Galashiels to mark 10 years since the Tapestry’s completion.  

The Queen views The Great Tapestry of Scotland

The Tapestry charts 420 million years of Scotland's history, heritage, innovations and culture through 160 compelling panels. It was handstitched by 1,000 stitchers from communities across Scotland. It is one of the world’s largest community arts projects.

Their Majesties met author Alexander McCall Smith who conceived the idea of The Great Tapestry, artist Andrew Crummy, stitcher coordinator Dorie Wilkie, and Alistair Moffat, the historian who decided which episodes in Scottish history should feature in the Tapestry.

The Queen views the final panel of the tapestry

Before The King and Queen’s departure, a new panel specially designed to commemorate the visit and the Coronation was revealed. Her Majesty was invited to add the final stitch to the panel.

Their Majesties spoke to well-wishers who had gathered outside the Great Tapestry’s Visitor’s Centre to greet them.

The King at the

Their Majesties later toured the Lochcarron of Scotland weaving mill where they saw the dyehouse, warping, weaving and production shed and the Warehouse, where Lochcarron house over 500 stocked tartans. Here, Their Majesties will meet some of the highly skilled darners and a new trainee, as Lochcarron continue in their drive to attract young people into the textile industry.

The King and Queen visit the Lochcarron of Scotland weaving mill

During their visit, Their Majesties passed the tartan wall, portraying the historical flags which are associated with Selkirk and Galashiels, and learnt more about the skilled design process that goes into creating a tartan.

The King and Queen in Selkirk

The King and Queen went on to visit Selkirk where they toured the marketplace and watch a traditional performance of Selkirk’s ‘Casting of the Colours’, which originates from The Selkirk Common Riding, celebrating history and traditions of the Royal and Ancient Burgh.  

The King in Selkirk

One of the earliest settlements in the Scottish Borders, Selkirk is one of Scotland’s oldest Royal Burghs. The town’s name means ‘the kirk in the forest’, and it hosted the first Borders abbey, in the 12th Century. At around the same time, Selkirk Castle stood nearby on the top of Peel Hill, serving as a Royal Scottish Court. Selkirk’s historic importance is underlined by its connections with both William Wallace being named as ‘Guardian of Scotland’ here and Sir Walter Scott, who served as sheriff for 33 years.

Set high above the Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys, Selkirk was granted its Royal Burgh status by King James V in 1535-6, in recognition of the role played at the Battle of Flodden by the men of Selkirk. The lands granted were extensive, and the men of Selkirk would constantly have to check them by riding the boundaries.

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