Queen Elizabeth II: Jackie Stewart gets emotional during tribute
On Monday, Nicola Sturgeon recounted the moment her husband saved one of the Queen’s beloved corgis from being electrocuted ahead of a dinner at Balmoral. The revelation came as Nicola Sturgeon moved a motion of condolence for the Queen at Holyrood, with King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla in attendance.
The Queen’s coffin was driven from the palace of Holyroodhouse – the Royal Family’s official home in Scotland – to St Giles’ Cathedral on Monday.
King Charles III walked behind the hearse through medieval Edinburgh, with crowds cheering as he emerged from his state limousine wearing a kilt.
The new King then made his way to Holyrood, attending the Scottish Parliament for the first time as reigning monarch.
Accompanied by Camilla, the Queen Consort, the King participated in a special session of the assembly in which the Scottish First Minister moved a motion of condolence in honour of the Queen.
Nicola Sturgeon shared memories of the Queen with the Scottish Parliament and King Charles
The Scottish First Minister also met King Charles III privately during his visit to Scotland
Just as MPs and former Prime Ministers had done at Westminster last week, Ms Sturgeon recalled personal stories from her time spent with the Queen, one of which drew laughter from the King.
The First Minister told of “one rather tense moment” ahead of a dinner at Balmoral where her husband, Peter Murrell, noticed a drawing room light flickering.
She said: “To my great alarm – it was, after all, in the presence of Her Majesty – my husband suddenly leapt up and darted across the room.”
“Peter had spotted the cause of the flickering light – one of the Queen’s young corgis, a beautiful pup called Sandy, was eating through a lamp switch.
“Thankfully, tragedy was averted and Sandy emerged unscathed – though not before a stern ticking off from his mistress.”
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Nicola Sturgeon recalled an amusing anecdote involving one of the Queen’s corgis at Balmoral
The Queen owned more than 30 corgis throughout her life
Alison Johnstone, the Scottish Parliament’s presiding officer, opened the session and paid tribute to the Queen, who was present for the assembly’s first session in 1999.
Led by Ms Johnstone, the King was introduced to Ms Sturgeon, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, Scottish Labour chief Anas Sarwar, the leader of the Scottish Greens Lorna Slater and the Lib Dems’ Alex Cole-Hamilton, before being escorted by the Royal Company of Archers into the semi-circular wooden chamber, opened by his mother in 1999.
Addressing the assembly at Holyrood, the King said: “I know that the Scottish Parliament and the people of Scotland share with me a profound sense of grief at the death of my beloved mother.
“Through all the years of her reign, the Queen like so many generations of our family before her, found in the hills of this land and in the hearts of its people, a haven and a home.”
He added: “If I might paraphrase the words of the great Robert Burns, my dear mother was a friend of man, a friend of truth, a friend of age and guide of youth. Few hearts like hers, with virtue warmed, few heads with knowledge so informed.”
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King Charles III delivered an address to Westminster Hall on Monday morning
Ahead of the King’s visit, after observing two minutes silence at a special sitting of the Scottish Parliament, Ms Sturgeon led tributes to the late Queen, saying she had been the “anchor of our nation”.
“Most of us simply don’t remember life without the Queen,” she told MSPs.
Ms Sturgeon said it was her “solemn duty” to move the motion of condolence, before adding: “For all across our country this is a time of profound sorrow.
“While the nation’s grief is for a Queen, the Royal Family’s is for their beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother.”
During the motion of condolence later that day, Ms Sturgeon also reflected on a train journey in 2014 on the new Borders rail line from Edinburgh to Tweedbank she had taken alone with only the Queen and Prince Philip, describing it as “one of the greatest privileges of my life”.
The same day, before travelling to Scotland the King addressed both houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall.
He said: “I cannot help but feel the weight of history which surrounds us and which reminds us of the vital parliamentary traditions to which members of both houses dedicate yourselves, with such personal commitment for the betterment of us all.”
The King also paid tribute to his “darling mother” and pledged “faithfully to follow” her example, during the ceremony in which the new monarch also heard condolences from the Speakers of the Commons and the Lords.
The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall from Wednesday, before her state funeral on Monday, September 19.