The Queen in Edinburgh: Looking back on the Queen's last official visit to Edinburgh following her death at age 96

Following the Queen’s death at age 96, we look back to June, when she made her last official visit to Edinburgh.

Traditionally, the monarch makes an annual trip to Scotland every year at the beginning of summer for what is known as ‘Holyrood Week’ – an annual celebration of Scottish people and Scottish culture. Queen Elizabeth II’s last ever trip to the Capital fell during this significant period.

Before the week began, many were unsure that the Queen’s journey would go ahead. For several months before, she had been foregoing public engagements due to her ongoing mobility issues. However, she was determined to continue the tradition of Holyrood Week.

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Less than three months ago, on Monday, June 27, she arrived in Edinburgh, delighting tourists and locals who spotted her getting off a train at Waverley Station. From there, she travelled to the Palace of Holyroodhouse – her official residence in Scotland – for the annual Ceremony of the Keys.

The Queen was welcomed into the city of Edinburgh by the Lord Provost, who symbolically offered her the keys of the city. In keeping with tradition, the Queen then returned them to the official for safekeeping.

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Her Majesty, who was accompanied by her youngest son, Prince Edward, and his wife, Sophie, was pictured beaming as she took part in the ceremony.

The next day, she attended an armed forces parade in the gardens of Holyroodhouse. The event marked the Platinum Jubilee and paid tribute to her role as head of the UK armed forces.

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Queen Elizabeth II attended the Ceremony of the Keys on her last visit to Edinburgh for Holyrood Week.

Dressed in a lilac outfit, the 96-year-old monarch smiled and waved to the crowds during the parade. Members of the armed forces gave three cheers to the Queen, and a pipe tune specially composed for the Platinum Jubilee was played, as she returned to the palace.

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On Wednesday, June 29, Her Majesty held an audience with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and also met Holyrood's Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone.

The meetings, which took place at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, were held in private, with no details of the conversations revealed.

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Reportedly, the Queen stayed at the palace until June 1, however, she was not seen at any other public engagements after her meeting with Scotland’s leader.

The Queen, often said to be at her happiest in Scotland, was beaming when she attended armed forces act of loyalty parade in the gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Pic: Jane Barlow
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This was the last time her Majesty was seen in Edinburgh, before she died at age 96 on Thursday, surrounded by family at Balmoral Castle.

However, Edinburgh locals will still have a chance to say goodbye and pay their respects to the long-reigning monarch. Her body is expected to be taken by road from Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh.

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Her coffin will lie in St Giles Cathedral for 24 hours, and a service will be held, with members of the Royal Family in attendance.

It has been reported that members of the public will be allowed into St Giles’ Cathedral to file past the coffin when it resides there in about three days’ time.

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Queen Elizabeth II receiving First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon during an audience at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, as part of her traditional trip to Scotland for Holyrood Week, on June 29, 2022.

Her body will then be flown to London, where she will be laid to rest on the grounds of Windsor Castle.