George Grubb’s address to Queen given in broad Scots

Lord Provost George Grubb presents the Queen with a copy of his speech
Lord Provost George Grubb presents the Queen with a copy of his speech
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There can be few tasks more daunting than addressing the Queen – let alone on her Diamond Jubilee.

Yet Lord Provost George Grubb decided the challenge needed spicing up further, so he delivered his message in broad Scots.

The 76-year-old and 27 other dignitaries – including the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Mayor of London – took part in the Loyal Address to the Queen at Buckingham Palace last week.

He admitted to a “touch of nerves” ahead of his speech, in which he described the once-in-a-decade event as a “stoatir o’ an occasion” and an “opporchancity”.

But his bravado went down so well with the guest of honour that he was later invited to an audience with Her Majesty.

The Lord Provost said: “When I got the briefing notes for the event I realised that it was likely that the delegates from all these bodies would be saying pretty much the same sort of thing, so I thought I would do something different.

“It started with the Archbishop of Canterbury and that was very English and formal and I was sitting there with my address in Scots and thinking, ‘what have I done!’

“But then I thought I would just go with it and my instinct was right – it really took the place by storm.”

And he was left with no doubts that the monarch was impressed by his originality.

Mr Grubb said: “When the Queen came into the reception afterwards the Duke saw me and he immediately made for me and had a word.

“As the reception went on, one of the equerries said the Queen wanted to see me before she went to her private residence.”

He would not reveal the details of his conversation with the Queen but revealed: “She has a great sense of humour.”

Sue Bruce, council chief executive, who also attended the event, said: “The Lord Provost was the star of the show.

“While most of the addresses were heard in polite silence, his caused a lot of hilarity and was a real highlight of what was already a great occasion.”

Language experts said the Lord Provost’s efforts were a welcome boost for Scots.

Pauline Cairns, senior editor of the Edinburgh-based Scottish Language Dictionary, said the address was a sign of Scots’ “resurgence”.

She said: “Scots is a language with just as good a pedigree as English and that’s shown by the fact that the Lord Provost took the decision to give his address in Scots.

“It’s definitely positive for the language, particularly at this important point in Scotland’s constitutional development.”