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Events to be held around Scotland in celebration of Charles’s coronation

The Scottish village which has boasted a close royal connection since Victoria was on the throne will be one of the communities coming together to celebrate the coronation at the weekend.

Ballater, the Royal Deeside village which neighbours the Balmoral estate, will host one of the Big Lunch events taking place across Scotland, with other towns and cities, from Gretna to Shetland and Dunoon to Dundee, also set to hold their own.

Ballater was the Aberdeenshire village where the King made one of his first visits after the death of his mother to thank residents for their support of the late Queen on her final journey, and on Sunday hundreds are expected to join the Coronation Big Lunch at the Church Green in celebration of his coronation.

Wendy Cobban, a businesswoman in the village who helped organise the event, said: “Ballater holds a special affection for the King and Queen, as the village has had strong ties with the royal family since the time of Queen Victoria.

Queen Elizabeth II death
Hundreds of people in Ballater stood to watch the final journey of the Queen (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“I think that the local residents feel a more personal relationship with the King and Queen, they are looked upon as friends and neighbours.

“Locals and tourists will come together and enjoy the events of the weekend in an atmosphere of fun and celebration in Ballater, a place that holds a special place in the King and Queen’s hearts.”

Camilla, the Queen Consort, has been patron of the Big Lunch since 2013.

An idea from the Eden Project in Cornwall, the National Lottery-funded event is the UK’s largest annual community celebration and was set up in 2009.

Coronation Big Lunch events will take place across the country, and organisers said they will include street parties, galas, picnics, fancy dress parades and more.

Queen with flowers speaks to children
The royal family have had a long connection with Ballater, the village neighbouring the late Queen’s beloved Balmoral estate (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The most northerly event is set to be hosted in Scalloway, Shetland, on Saturday, where the island’s youth centre is the setting for a celebration featuring sea shanties, a hat dressing competition, stories, games and more.

Having held a Big Lunch each year since 2016, co-organiser Sonia Inkster said the special event to mark Charles’s coronation “has really given us something to look forward to”.

She added: “Rain or shine, it’s a firm fixture in our calendar each and every year – and this time it’s extra special.

“We’ll be opening up the youth centre, putting tables on the seafront and inviting everyone to enjoy some food, music and togetherness.”

A number of other events around Scotland are also taking place on Saturday to mark the coronation.

There will be gun salutes at Edinburgh and Stirling castles, while big screens will show the ceremony in Princes Street Gardens and at Glasgow Cathedral.

The Royal Standard will fly over St Andrew’s House – the Scottish Government’s headquarters – during the coronation weekend.

At the ceremony in Westminster Abbey, the Scottish Government will be represented by First Minister Humza Yousaf, the Lord Advocate and the Permanent Secretary.

Later this year, Charles will be presented with the Honours of Scotland – the oldest crown jewels in Britain – during a ceremony in St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh.

Mr Yousaf said: “I will attend at the coronation ceremony as First Minister, on behalf of the Scottish people – and many people across the country will also take part in the celebrations by watching the ceremony on big screens, hosting street parties or taking part in charity or volunteering.

“I look forward to participating in the ceremony when His Majesty is presented with the Honours of Scotland at a service at St Giles’ Cathedral later this year.

“I know many people in Scotland will want to send their best wishes to King Charles III and Queen Camilla on this historic occasion.”