The Duchess of Rothesay brought back a Catherine Walker design for today’s National Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication in honor of King Charles III.
The service was at St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland. It comes during the first Holyrood Week of King Charles’s reign. More from the British Monarchy site:
Each year, the Monarch spends a week visiting various regions in Scotland, meeting Scots from all walks of life and hosting thousands at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in recognition of their good work. Known in Scotland as ‘Royal Week’, and to others as ‘Holyrood Week’, these visits celebrate Scottish culture, achievement and community. Holyrood week normally takes place from the end of June to the beginning of July.
Yesterday the King and Queen hosted a garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Today’s events included a People’s Procession with 100 representatives reflecting all aspects of Scottish society, including the arts and education, politics, business, and charities, which the King supports as patron.
A look at some of the well-wishers gathered on the Royal Mile.
From The Telegraph’s coverage.
The Scottish weather has been kinder today, with sunshine interrupted by occasional clouds. Rain is not expected until after the festivities have concluded.
There is a cosmopolitan, party atmosphere on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, with many tourists in the city mingling with Scots and Royalists who have travelled from elsewhere in the UK…
As the People’s Procession was approaching St. Giles’, the King and Queen were preparing to leave the Palace of Holyrood House for the Cathedral.
Today’s ceremony was not a second coronation. As The Times of London explained, “After his crowning at Westminster Abbey in May, this procession and church service in Edinburgh symbolizes the bond between the monarch and the Scottish people.”
Following right behind the King and Queen, the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay (as the Prince and Princess of Wales are styled in Scotland).
And a quick video from the Royal Family.
🏴 The King and Queen, joined by The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, leave the Palace of Holyroodhouse for the National Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication at St Giles’ Cathedral. pic.twitter.com/GMYaIKzmkf
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) July 5, 2023
The royals traveled in a procession up the Royal Mile.
More than 700 members of the military took part in today’s ceremonies.
— Royal Navy in Scotland (@RNinScotland) July 5, 2023
Here you see King Charles III as he arrived at St. Giles’.
The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay as they arrived.
And as they entered the Cathedral.
The King and Queen as they entered the Cathedral.
As The Telegraph reports, “The King, Queen and Prince of Wales are all wearing their deep green Order of the Thistle mantles…the velvet ceremonial robes represent the greatest Order of chivalry in Scotland. St Giles’ Cathedral houses the Thistle Chapel. The thistle is the national emblem of Scotland and was first used as a symbol on silver coins issued in 1470 by James III.”
The Duke and Duchess shortly after they entered St. Giles’.
Today’s Order of Service.
Victoria Murphy offers insight into the ceremony via this Town and Country story.
King Charles did not have a second coronation today, but he was presented with the Honours of Scotland at a Service of Thanksgiving in Edinburgh’s St Giles’ Cathedral to mark his May coronation. The Honours, which are also referred to as the Scottish Crown Jewels, were used to crown Scottish monarchs before the formation of the United Kingdom. Since then, they have not formed part of a coronation but are now presented to UK monarchs as symbols of their authority in Scotland during a service. Unlike his coronation in May, the Scottish crown was not placed on the King’s head today.
More on today’s service from this Scottish Daily Express piece.
Around 650 leading figures from Scotland, and representatives from the nation’s life, gathered at the cathedral for the event which came eight weeks after the King and Queen were crowned in an ancient ceremony at Westminster Abbey where Charles made a pledge to “serve”.
The Duchess of Rothesay.
Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf delivered a reading from the Old Testament.
Royal family members as they sang one of today’s hymns.
The sermon was delivered by the Right Reverend Sally Foster-Fulton, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
More on that message from The Evening Standard’s piece.
“Your Majesties, you have made it part of your mission to speak alongside creation, advocating for it. As we present the Honours of Scotland to you, we commit ourselves to walking that journey with you.
“We are all a small part of something so much bigger – this beautiful, sacred creation and everyone and everything in it. Thanks be to God.”
Then it was time for the presentation of The Honours, starting with the Elizabeth Sword, presented by Dame Katherine Grainger, a former Olympic rower.
This People story explains why a new sword is being used today.
The blade was named after Queen Elizabeth and is being swapped into the Honours of Scotland because the existing sword in the historic suite (over 500 years old!) is too delicate to use.
As the Order of Service explains, “Since 1999, the Crown has been carried in procession at the Opening of the Scottish Parliament. The Sword of State was borne in procession at services of the Order of the Thistle until it was found to be too fragile for further use. In 2022 a new sword.. was commissioned to be used in place of the Sword of State. The Sword and its scabbard were designed and crafted in Scotland.”
The Sceptre was then presented to the King by Scotland’s Lord Justice Clerk Leeona Dorrian. The Sceptre is believed to have been a gift to James IV from Pope Alexander VI in 1494.
Then it was time for the presentation of the Crown of Scotland.
The Duke of Hamilton and Brandon did the honors.
More about the Honours of Scotland via this Washington Post story.
They were first used as coronation regalia for Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1543 when she was just 9 months old. They were also used for the coronations of James VI — the future James I of England — as well as Charles I and Charles II, whose 1651 coronation was the last such one in Scotland.
When Britain became a protectorate under Cromwell, England’s crown jewels dating to medieval times were melted down along with other royal regalia. In Scotland, however, the crown jewels were hidden away so carefully that they were rediscovered only a century and a half later in 1818, when novelist Walter Scott found them in an oak chest in Edinburgh Castle.
The musical portion of the service concluded with the national anthem.
A quick video.
— Royal Central (@RoyalCentral) July 5, 2023
Reverend Sally Foster-Fulton’s final message after the anthem: “The worship is over, let the service begin. Beloved, go in peace”. Below, the royals as they left the service.
The King and Queen outside of St. Giles’ after the service.
And the Duke and Duchess.
Another view of the couple.
The royal party then returned to the Palace of Holyrood House to watch a flypast by the Red Arrows.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) July 5, 2023
While she was not at the service, Princess Anne was able to make it for the flyby. (The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh did not attend today’s service; they attended a 75th Anniversary service at Westminster Abbey in honor of the NHS.). Another view.
It looked like a beautiful afternoon for the Red Arrows display.
King Charles, Queen Camilla, and the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay posed for a group shot after the Red Arrows flypast.
Now for a quick review of some of the day’s fashion, beginning with Queen Camilla. As noted above, she had on her Order of the Thistle robes, worn for the first time since she was appointed to the Order in June of this year. The thistle collar and star belonged to the Late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Beneath her robes, the Queen was in a Bruce Oldfield gown featuring tiers of ruffled white material and long sleeves.
A piece the Princess has previously worn, the design is crafted in wool crepe. The single-breasted style has velvet lapels, self-covered buttons, a flare at the cuff, and flared skirt.
Melissa Twigg at The Telegraph wrote about today’s ensemble in this article.
Cross the border and everything is slightly different. In Scotland, the Princess of Wales is officially referred to as the Duchess of Rothesay, and her dress coat is no longer royal blue – but Saltire blue… Catherine paid tribute to the country where she met her husband by dressing in the exact shade of the national flag – the Saltire.
The coat dress came from Catherine Walker & Co – a designer who has been shaping royal style for decades. Walker’s most famous and dedicated customer will arguably always be Diana, Princess of Wales, but Kate is shaping up to be almost as loyal to the British brand as her late mother-in-law.
The Princess wore a Philip Treacy hat for today’s service.
We return to the Telegraph piece from Melissa Twigg.
Her hat was designed by Philip Treacy, who is rapidly becoming her go-to milliner, for most major royal occasions. This is the first time she has been photographed in this particular design, suggesting that it was made for the occasion.
Another two views of the hat and updo. Thank you to Laura for locating the milliner’s vivid green style seen above.
The Duchess wore jewelry with family ties. Many noticed the late Queen’s Japanese Pearl Necklace seen below when worn to Prince Philip’s April 2021 funeral (L) and the Queen’s funeral last September (R).
It was first worn by the (then) Duchess of Cambridge for a November 2017 private party celebrating the Queen and Prince Philip’s 70th wedding anniversary.
The Princess also wore the Collingwood Pearl Drop Earrings and the Nigel Milne triple-strand pearl bracelet.
I have two updates unrelated to today’s service in Edinburgh, beginning with the news that it looks like the Princess of Wales is going to be an aunt again.
The Princess of Wales’ brother James Middleton has announced that he and his wife Alizee are expecting a baby and they “couldn’t be more excited”. pic.twitter.com/V39Ji0yzCZ
— Lizzie Robinson (@LizzieITV) July 5, 2023
The other item is a heads-up that last night I updated the Wimbledon post with coverage of a special NHS 75th anniversary tea the Prince and Princess of Wales cohosted.
ITN’s Royal Family Channel has more than three hours of coverage of today’s events.