British monarch opens Scottish parliament session

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London, July 2 (IANS) Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain on Saturday addressed members of the Scottish parliament as she formally opened the chamber’s fifth session.

The monarch spoke in the Holyrood Chamber as part of an opening ceremony that will also include music, poetry and speeches, the BBC reported.

She said the opening of the new session marked a “time for hope and optimism” and a “real sense of renewal”.

She said Holyrood had “grown in maturity in skill” since being established in 1999.

“Of course we all live in an increasingly complex and demanding world, where events and developments can, and do, take place at remarkable speed.

“Retaining the ability to stay calm and collected can at times be hard.”

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About 2,500 people are due to take part in the historic Riding Procession down the Royal Mile following the ceremony.

The Queen was welcomed by Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Macintosh told the Queen that parliament “stands ready for the challenges that lie ahead of us” and that “every MSP in this chamber is proud to represent the people of Scotland.”

Referring to the fallout from the EU referendum result, The presiding officer added: “In these few short weeks, weeks of unprecedented political turbulence, I have already seen a real willingness to work cooperatively and collaboratively.

“I have seen the emergence of a shared agenda to clarify the identity and role of the Scottish parliament and a shared recognition that it is more important than ever that the parliament finds its own voice — a voice of hope, to echo Donald Dewar, a voice for the future.”

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The fifth term of the Scottish parliament began after May’s Holyrood elections, and MSPs had their final session before the summer break on Thursday.



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