The Queen added: “I will be attending Cop26 events in Glasgow” as she urged MSPs to “help create a better, healthier future” by tackling the challenges of climate change.
These events are among seven public engagements already on the 95-year-old monarch’s calendar for October, with more expected to be added in what is shaping up as her most grueling schedule since her Diamond Jubilee ten years ago.
Aides last week suggested that, while she made the best of engagements via video calls during the pandemic and following Prince Philip’s death, she is particularly keen to get out and about to meet people again and become “more visible” to the public.
During yesterday’s address, which signaled the end of her annual holiday in Balmoral, Her Majesty was accompanied by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, who are officially styled the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland.
The Queen has urged Britons to have ‘hope’
Speaking at Holyrood for the first time since the Duke of Edinburgh’s death, the Queen said: “Today is also a day when we can celebrate those who have made an extraordinary contribution to the lives of other people in Scotland, locally or nationally during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I have spoken before of my deep and abiding affection for this wonderful country and of the many happy memories Prince Philip and I always held of our time here. It is often said that it is the people that make a place. And there are few places where this is truer than in Scotland, as we have seen in recent times.
“We all know of the difficult circumstances that many people have encountered during the last 18 months. However, alongside this have been countless examples of resilience and goodwill.”
The Queen then referred to Prince William’s tenure as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland: “Following my grandson’s time as Lord High Commissioner, Prince William has told me many heartening stories that he heard first hand of people and communities across Scotland uniting to protect and care for those who are isolated or vulnerable.”
She also told MSPs: “As we all step out from adverse and uncertain times, occasions such as this, today, provide an opportunity for hope and optimism. Marking this new session does indeed bring a sense of beginning and renewal.
“The Scottish Parliament has been at the heart of Scotland’s response to the pandemic with people across this country looking to you for leadership and stewardship, and I hope you will remain at the forefront as we move towards a phase of recovery.
“While some of you will have differences of opinion, I trust you will continue to work together.
“I encourage you to draw inspiration from the founding principles of Wisdom, Justice, Compassion and Integrity. These words are a reminder of your responsibilities to the people of Scotland and, in the years ahead, I hope you can reaffirm their importance in everything you do as a Member of this Parliament.”
Her Majesty added: “The beginning of a new session is a time for renewal and fresh thinking, providing an opportunity to look to the future and our future generations.
“Next month, I will be attending Cop26 events in Glasgow. The eyes of the world will be on the United Kingdom – and Scotland in particular – as leaders come together to address the challenges of climate change.
“There is a key role for the Scottish Parliament, as with all parliaments, to help create a better, healthier future for us all, and to engage with the people they represent – especially our young people.”
The Queen planted a tree at the Balmoral Cricket Pavilion
Writing in today’s Sunday Express, royal author Margaret Holder points out that the Queen has endured a “testing” summer without her beloved husband of 73 years as well as seeing two of her sons, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, embroiled in headline-making scandals and dealing with her “troubled” grandson-in-exile Prince Harry.
But she adds: “Our 95-year-old Queen just carries on, not allowing widowhood, age or family problems to affect her constitutional role…..Life for the Queen still revolves around duty – just as she promised on her 21st birthday when she dedicated her whole life to public service.”
Responding to the Queen’s speech, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon declared: “As we battle through the storm of a global pandemic, hope and the hankering for change is perhaps felt more strongly by more people than at any time in our recent history.
“That gives this parliament a momentous responsibility and a historic opportunity.”
Prior to yesterday’s ceremony, the Queen, who has formally opened all six sessions of the Scottish Parliament since 1999, met with party and parliamentary leaders in the garden lobby at Holyrood.
Afterwards she, Charles and Camilla met with Scots who have been recognised for their community contributions during the pandemic and were among “local heroes” invited to attend the state opening.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK