The aspirations and hopes of the people of Scotland will be the focus of today’s events at Holyrood, as members of the public join together with MSPs, Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to mark the Fourth Session of the Scottish Parliament.
Speaking on the subject Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP said:
“For 12 years Holyrood has acted as a Parliament for the people and it is only fitting that today, on this historic occasion, they should be at the very centre of the celebrations.
“As MSPs it is our duty on this, the opening of our Fourth Session, to make sure that Holyrood continues to be open and accessible to all and to strive to reflect the true aspirations, hopes and dreams of all the people of Scotland.
“Through today’s Riding, the poems and music in the Chamber and in our Moving Stories exhibition which has travelled the length of country – we are reaching out to the people of Scotland and hearing their voice.”
Today’s opening ceremony will begin at 9.00am with the procession of the historic Crown of Scotland down the Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle to the Parliament.
Then, following a welcome by the Presiding Officer, The Queen will address the newly elected MSPs in the Debating Chamber. This will then be followed by a response to The Queen from the First Minister.
Following the address in the Chamber, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will visit Holyrood’s Main Hall to see the Parliament’s Moving Stories exhibition, which tells the stories of 10 members of the Scottish public who have been involved with the Parliament in various ways and has been seen by more than 250,000 people across Scotland.
Following the departure of The Queen, almost 1,500 people will take part in the Riding procession down the Royal Mile, reflecting the rich diversity of the people of Scotland, with school children, community groups, ‘local heroes’, performers and representatives from all corners of Scottish society joining with MSPs, celebrities and guests.
Finally, the public, guests of the Parliament, MSPs and others will come together for an open afternoon of music and entertainment at Holyrood and the sound of young Scotland will ring out as the best of young Scottish musical talent is showcased.