03 July 2023

Details of Edinburgh thanksgiving and dedication service for King revealed

03 July 2023

The order of service has been unveiled for the event in Edinburgh this week to mark the coronation of the King and Queen.

Charles will be presented with the Honours of Scotland – the country’s crown jewels – during the service of thanksgiving and dedication at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

The service will feature centuries-old aspects of Scottish royal tradition along with new additions such as pieces of music written specially for the occasion, a psalm sung in Gaelic and the use of passages from the New Testament in Scots.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Rt Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, will preach the sermon and then provide a blessing to close the service.

Others involved will include violinist Nicola Benedetti, who will be among the musicians playing, and Olympic rower Dame Katherine Grainger who will carry the Elizabeth Sword which is being used in place of the Sword of State.

The Prince and Princess of Wales, known as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland, will be among those at the event.

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf will give a reading during the service, while others attending from the world of politics include Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton.

Rev Calum I MacLeod, minister of St Giles’, will provide the Welcome and Call to Worship at the start of the service.

He said: “It is a great honour and privilege to welcome their majesties King Charles and Queen Camilla to St Giles’ on such a joyous occasion.

“His majesty has visited the cathedral many times and this will certainly be a fitting place to have a service of thanksgiving and dedication during his majesty’s first visit to Scotland following the coronation in May.

“St Giles’ was probably founded by David I in around 1124 so there has been a strong royal connection since the beginning, nearly 900 years ago.”

The service will feature five new pieces of music commissioned to mark the occasion including Balmoral Flourishes,  by composer Paul Mealor, which will be performed by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry.

A Gaelic Psalm by Mealor, written especially for the service, will be sung by Joy Dunlop, in recognition of Scotland’s linguistic heritage.

There will also be contributions from other faiths and Christian denominations.

During the ceremony, the sceptre and crown from the Honours of Scotland will be presented to the King, along with the Elizabeth Sword.

This is a new sword specially crafted to be used in place of the current Sword of State, gifted to James IV by Pope Julius in 1507, which can no longer be used due to its fragile condition.

Dame Katherine will carry the Elizabeth Sword; Lady Dorrian, the Lord Justice Clerk will hold the sceptre and the Duke of Hamilton the Crown of Scotland.

Mrs Foster-Fulton said: “What a joy to welcome their majesties the King and Queen back home to Scotland and to participate in the national Service of thanksgiving and dedication on July 5.”

Before the service, a people’s procession of about 100 community groups will collect the honours from Edinburgh Castle.

The procession will then be escorted to the cathedral by the Royal Regiment of Scotland and its Shetland pony mascot, Corporal Cruachan IV, supported by cadet musicians from the combined cadet force pipes and drums.

Meanwhile, a royal procession will travel from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to the cathedral, with members of the public lining the Royal Mile to view both processions.

Rehearsals were held on the Royal Mile and outside the cathedral on Monday ahead of the events later in the week.

A 21-gun salute will fire from Edinburgh Castle at the end of the St Giles’ service, before the royal procession travels back to the palace.

The Stone of Destiny will be in the cathedral during the ceremony, and there will also be a fly-past by the Red Arrows following the event.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox