The Queen in Edinburgh for the Ceremony of the Keys

The Queen has taken part in an ancient ceremony to formally welcome her to Edinburgh as Holyrood week gets under way.

Monday, 3rd July 2017, 8:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:34 am
Queen Elizabeth II during the traditional Ceremony of the Keys at Holyroodhouse. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The annual Ceremony of the Keys saw the monarch handed the keys of the city and welcomed to ‘’your ancient and hereditary kingdom of Scotland’’ by Edinburgh Lord Provost Frank Ross.

She is symbolically offered the keys to the city by the Lord Provost and tradition dictates that the Queen then returns them, entrusting their safekeeping to Edinburgh’s elected officials.

As part of the ceremony, she also inspected a guard of honour at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, formed by Balaklava Company, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, with music by the Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

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Queen Elizabeth II receives the keys from Edinburgh's Lord Provost Frank Ross. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

The ceremony on the palace forecourt marks the traditional start to the monarch’s stay at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland.

Holyrood week includes an investiture and garden party at the palace, while the Queen will also meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on Wednesday to “honour her importance to Canada’s history”.

Queen Elizabeth II inspects the guard of honour of Balaklava Company, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Holyroodhouse. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II receives the keys from Edinburgh's Lord Provost Frank Ross. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II inspects the guard of honour of Balaklava Company, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Holyroodhouse. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images