Gun salutes at Edinburgh and Stirling castles mark King’s coronation

Gun salutes at Edinburgh and Stirling castles mark King’s coronation

Gun salutes at Edinburgh and Stirling castles marked the moment the King was crowned.

The ceremonies among events taking place around Scotland to mark the coronation, at the same time as anti-monarchy protests.

At Edinburgh Castle, a 21-round royal salute was fired a minute after midday as the King was crowned.

Members of 105 Regiment Royal Artillery fired the salute, with members of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 Scots) taking up position as castle guard musicians from Reserve Bands of The Royal Regiment of Scotland and adult instructors with the Army Cadet Force performed.

They played God Save The King after the gun salute.

The coronation ceremony was beamed from Westminster Abbey on to a big screen in Edinburgh’s West Princes Street Gardens, and Glasgow Cathedral also showed proceedings live.

Community events took place around the country.

Charles and Camilla
The King and Queen during an event in Ballater, near Balmoral, in October (Andrew Milligan/PA)

At Balmoral, where Queen Elizabeth II died last year, well-wishers arrived at the royal estate from across the globe.

Hundreds watched the coronation live on screens across the estate, and cheered the Ballater Pipe Band as they played throughout the day.

Among the royal fans was Louise Gibson-Ellis, from Nebraska in the US, who is spending her honeymoon in Royal Deeside.

The 52-year-old brought her new mother-in-law, Gwen Smith, 85, from London.

The pensioner, who shares a birthday with the late Queen, has fond memories of the coronation in 1953.

Gwen Smith and Louise Gibson-Ellis visited Balmoral Castle for the coronation (Rebecca McCurdy/PA)
Gwen Smith and Louise Gibson-Ellis visited Balmoral Castle for the coronation (Rebecca McCurdy/PA)

She recalled: “It was absolutely wonderful. There were so many of us in the room sat round looking at the nine-inch television.”

It was a double celebration at the Royal Deeside estate for Bjorg Jonsdottir, from Iceland, whose first grandson, as yet unnamed, was born in the early hours of the morning.

A special range of memorabilia and photographs relating to the royals’ Scottish visits was also exhibited in the castle’s ballroom.

Among the scores of people at Glasgow Cathedral to watch the ceremony on screens around the historic building was US tourist Kathy Kowalski.

The 74-year-old, from St Mary’s County, Maryland, said: “We’re on a tour of Scotland and Ireland so we decided to come here to see the cathedral and it so happened they were showing the coronation.

“I like watching it but being an American it’s like ‘couldn’t you have spent that money helping someone else, helping the poor? But that’s just me’.”

The coronation was also screened at a Big Lunch – one of more than 200 coronation Big Lunches registered in Scotland – in Newmilns, East Ayrshire, on Saturday attended by around 200 people.

Caitlin Baker, Love Newmilns community development officer, said: “We know the coronation is not everyone’s cup of tea in Scotland, but it’s a piece of history we get to watch, and it’s been great seeing so many people attend today.”

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

First Minister Humza Yousaf, Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC and Permanent Secretary John-Paul Marks represented the Scottish Government at the ceremony in London.

Mr Yousaf arrived at Westminster Abbey in a Slanj kilt in the Spirit of Glasgow tartan with an Asian fusion-style jacket and waistcoat designed by Glasgow-based Anjali Modha.

King Charles III coronation
First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf and his wife Nadia El-Nakla at the coronation of the King and Queen at Westminster Abbey (Andrew Matthews/PA)

His wife Nadia El-Nakla wore a full-length kilt made from the same tartan, by Scottish designer Siobhan MacKenzie, and a hat by Glasgow milliner William Chambers, whose designs have been worn by the Duchess of Sussex.

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.”

The Scottish Parliament’s presiding officer Alison Johnstone, also attended, as did chief executive David McGill.

Ms Johnstone said it was an “honour” to represent the parliament.

She said: “King Charles III and Queen Camilla have shown their commitment to maintaining a close relationship with the parliament, a relationship established by the late Queen, who opened the parliament in 1999 and attended the start of every subsequent session.

“The Scottish Parliament looks forward to continuing that warm relationship.”

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton also attended.

As some people celebrated, others protested against the event.

A recent poll suggested the majority of people in Scotland do not care about the coronation, with the YouGov survey of more than 1,000 Scots finding 72% either do not care about it at all or do not care very much.

ROYAL Coronation Cost
(PA Graphics)

In Glasgow, All Under One Banner – which campaigns for Scottish independence – held an independence march from Kelvingrove Park to Glasgow Green, which organisers said 20,000 people attended.

Former first Minister Alex Salmond led the crowd in a chant calling for independence and urged them to shout louder “for the benefit of those in Westminster Abbey”.

Later hundreds of people gathered on Calton Hill in Edinburgh for an anti-monarchy rally organised by Our Republic.

Some waved Saltire flags while others wore them as cloaks, and held signs with slogans such as “Not our king” and “Down with the crown”.

Speakers included Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater who is a Scottish Government minister.

She said: “When it comes to the monarchy Scotland says no.

“Let’s do better, let’s build a better, brighter democratic future in an independent Scottish republic.”