Queen greeted with traditional Ceremony of the Keys as she arrives in Edinburgh

·2-min read

The Queen has arrived at her official residence in Scotland, taking part in an ancient ceremony at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Along with the Duke of Cambridge, who is known as the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland, she was present for the Ceremony of the Keys on the forecourt of the Edinburgh palace.

It is the monarch’s first trip to Scotland for the annual Holyrood Week since the death of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Queen took part in the traditional ceremony (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Ceremony of the Keys saw the monarch handed the keys of the city and welcomed to “your ancient and hereditary kingdom of Scotland” by Edinburgh Lord Provost Frank Ross.

She is symbolically offered the keys to the city by the Lord Provost and tradition dictates that the Queen then returns them, entrusting their safekeeping to Edinburgh’s elected officials.

The Queen inspected the Guard of Honour on the forecourt of the Palace and met with local government key workers, speaking to them about their roles during the pandemic.

The Guard of Honour was provided by the Balaklava Company, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

They were supported by the Pipes and Drums of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, and the Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Queen visits Scotland for Holyrood Week
The Queen spoke with local key workers (Jane Barlow/PA)

Following the ceremony, the royals spoke to a group of volunteers and key workers inside the palace.

One of those they spoke to was Mollie Kerr, senior contracts and grants manager with Edinburgh council.

Ms Kerr told the PA news agency afterwards: “It was great, it’s been an honour to represent all the people I’ve worked with and all the people we’ve helped look after.”

She added: “They were very interested in what we’ve been doing.

“Not just work, how we were all managing, how we’d worked together, what home and family life had been like, what the impact had been.

“Prince William particularly was asking about small children bursting in on team calls.”

The royals also spoke to Kaleigh Wood, a housing supervisor for temporary accommodation with the council, who spoke about efforts to tackle homelessness.

Ms Wood said: “It was amazing, I felt really privileged. I was able to tell her about the good work the council’s been doing.

“They were asking what kind of things we’d done, what we’d implemented to try and reduce homelessness.

“They were both really supportive.”

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