Queen’s jubilee adds to great Provost honour - Robert Aldridge

Last week I had the enormous privilege and honour of becoming Lord Provost of Edinburgh – the world’s best capital city.

Lord Provost Robert Aldridge
Lord Provost Robert Aldridge

It’s a huge honour to be the Lord Provost in the city where I was born and brought up. I have been the councillor for the area I live in for 38 years. So huge thanks to the good citizens of Drum Brae Gyle ward.

My aim is to play my part in making the city even better for everyone, especially those who are marginalised for whatever reason. Everyone deserves our respect and the opportunity to be their best person.

Given the council now has five political parties all with substantial numbers of Councillors I hope we will focus on issues which unite us – tackling poverty, ensuring basic services are delivered well and so on. We will disagree and debate but I hope in a tone of mutual respect to get the best outcomes for this wonderful city.

And what an exciting time to start my term as Lord Provost and Lord Lieutenant. In the latter, I’m the Queen’s representative in Edinburgh and very much look forward performing my duties and we’re starting with the highest in Edinburgh’s celebration of HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Festivities officially begin on Thursday when I will help light the Jubilee beacon at Edinburgh Castle.

The beacon will be one of over 2022 lit on Thursday June 2 as part of the official programme announced by Buckingham Palace for the Jubilee weekend and I will be delighted to jointly light it with the Army’s Commander of Edinburgh Garrison.

The event will see thousands of town criers, pipers, buglers and choirs performing, ahead of the lighting of beacons throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, UK Overseas Territories and within the Commonwealth countries at 9.45pm. What more fitting location for the lighting of a Beacon than from Edinburgh Castle where it can be seen from the streets below. Across the capital, communities are holding street parties and special events to mark the Queen’s 70-year reign.

Then on Sunday Edinburgh’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration gets underway in West Princes Street. From 12.30pm you are invited to dust off your picnic blanket for a fun-filled event with live music from the Band of HM Royal Marines Scotland, a performance by the fantastic local Love Music Community Choir and a special Edinburgh Festival Carnival parade just for the occasion.

Following the live entertainment, the Platinum Jubilee Pageant broadcasting live from London will be shown on big screen in the gardens. The nationwide celebrations will be a moment in history and citizens and visitors have the chance to be a part of it whilst enjoying the festivities.

For all those celebrating this weekend – I hope the weather is kind to us and we can all enjoy the extraordinary day.