In Scotland, an Elaborate Day for King Charles

He'll be presented with the Scottish crown jewels
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 5, 2023 7:46 AM CDT
King Charles to Be Presented With Scotland's Crown Jewels
A general view of well wishers on the Royal Mile ahead of a National Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication for Britain's King Charles III and Queen Camilla, in Edinburgh, Wednesday, July 5, 2023.   (Chris Jackson/Pool Photo via AP)

Two months after the lavish coronation of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey in London, Scotland is set to host its own event to mark the new monarch's accession to the throne. While Charles and Queen Camilla won't be crowned a second time Wednesday in Edinburgh, the festivities will include a crown, horse-drawn carriages, and mounted cavalry, reports the AP. The focal point of the event is a service of thanksgiving at St. Giles' Cathedral at 2:15pm local time.

There, Charles will be presented with the Scottish Honors—the crown, scepter, and sword of state once used to crown Scotland's kings and queens (the BBC notes they're the oldest crowned jewels in the UK). The Stone of Destiny, an important symbol of Scottish identity, will also be moved to the cathedral for the festivities. The presence of these icons of Scotland's nationhood is a mark of respect for a country that is fiercely proud of its history and where the desire of some for independence has never died, even though it has been bound to England and the United Kingdom since 1707. Scotland's national government is led by the Scottish National Party, which is calling for a second independence referendum.

Wednesday's events in Edinburgh are a continuation of Charles' effort to cement ties with the people of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom as he tries to show that the 1,000-year-old monarchy remains relevant in modern Britain. Soon after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, last September, Charles visited Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales before attending the state funeral in London. Just as May's coronation ceremony gave nods to the multicultural nature of Britain today, Wednesday's church service will include a psalm sung in Gaelic.

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Charles will also be presented with a new sword made by Scottish artisans and named after Elizabeth. The Elizabeth Sword will be used in place of the current sword of state, which was made in 1507 and is too fragile for use in the ceremony. But some Scots won't be celebrating. The group Our Republic, which campaigns for an elected head of state in Scotland, has scheduled a protest rally outside the Scottish parliament. "The vast majority of Scotland didn't care to celebrate the coronation in May, with support for the monarchy at an all-time low in Scotland," the group said in a statement. "Charles' perpetual need to celebrate his reign, with all the pomp and pageantry it requires, is a spit in the face to the people struggling with the cost of living."

(More King Charles III stories.)

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