Queen Elizabeth II death: St Giles’ Cathedral minister says Queen’s Edinburgh thanksgiving service was ‘nerve-wracking’
The minister of St Giles' Cathedral, where members of the Royal Family gathered at a service of thanksgiving for the late Queen, said it had been a “nerve-wracking experience” – but also a “great honour”.
On Monday, King Charles III, the Queen Consort and other royals gathered at the remembrance service in Edinburgh after the Queen’s coffin travelled up the Royal Mile to the ancient cathedral following her death last week, aged 96.
Reverend Calum MacLeod told the mourners the ceremony was “Scotland’s farewell to our late monarch, whose life of service to the nation and the world we celebrate and whose love for Scotland was legendary”.
Speaking after the service of thanksgiving, Rev MacLeod said: “It was poignant, meaningful and a great honour to be the person who gets this chance to say a few words on behalf of the nation with thanksgiving for the Queen's life and service.”
House of the Dragon time jump: 11 cast changes and new characters in Game of Thrones prequel
House of the Dragon: The biggest dragons in Game of Thrones prequel, ranked by size - from Vhagar to Caraxes
House of the Dragon: The 17 most powerful dragons in Games of Thrones prequel - from Caraxes to Syrax
He has been a minister at St Giles’ since 2014 and said he had worked very closely with the Dean of the Chapel Royal, Professor David Fergusson, the Queen’s chief chaplain in Scotland, on the Scottish nature of the service.
It included the Gaelic psalm sung by Karen Matheson, best known as the lead singer of the folk group Capercaillie.
“It was very much our sense that we wanted to reflect the tradition of the Church of Scotland in the service because we all know the Queen loved Scotland so much and was a member of the Church of Scotland,” he added.
Rev MacLeod said the public response had taken people's breath away with crowds eight deep on the Royal Mile prior to the service of thanksgiving.
“The people of Scotland have come out to pay their respects and that has been a lovely thing to be a part of," he continued.
“It is a great honour for us to host the vigil for the Queen and welcome so many people from around the world into the cathedral.
“We are pleased with how the cathedral looks and we are happy for people to come in and experience the transcendent beauty of a great, medieval house of prayer.”