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Scotland marks coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla with day of pageantry


By Hafsa Khalil, CNN

London (CNN) — Scotland has concluded a day of festivities celebrating British monarch King Charles III’s recent coronation.

The highlight of Wednesday’s proceedings in the capital, Edinburgh, was a service of national thanksgiving during which the King was presented with the Scottish crown jewels.

Known as the “Honours of Scotland,” these regalia are Britain’s oldest crown jewels, with some parts dating back to around the early 16th century. The sword, however, is a recent commission. “The Elizabeth Sword” – named after the late Queen Elizabeth II – will be the new sword of state, replacing a sword given to James IV by Pope Julius II in 1507, due to its fragility, according to the Scottish government.

The service was preceded by a “people’s procession” and a royal procession to the cathedral, and rounded off with a gun salute. A Royal Air Force flypast also featured, coloring the skies with the trails of red, white and blue.

The people’s procession, which featured 100 individuals representing Scottish life, was escorted by the Royal Regiment of Scotland, its Shetland pony mascot Corporal Cruachan IV, Police Scotland, and music by cadet musicians from the Combined Cadet Force Pipes and Drums and the Cadet Military Band. Not everyone was celebrating, however. Shouts of “Not my King” could be heard from nearby protestors.

Charles arrived at the cathedral in the royal procession in the state Bentley, accompanied by Queen Camilla. He was wearing the Royal Navy full ceremonial tailcoat as Admiral of the Fleet, and adorned with the Order of the Garter sash and Order of the Thistle star. Over the uniform, he wore the mantle of the Order of the Thistle, the collar of the order and a hat with a plume of the order.

Camilla wore a long white dress by British designer Bruce Oldfield. Oldfield, with whom she has a longstanding relationship, also designed the coronation outfit she wore in May. Her outfit was similarly embellished with the Thistle robe and hat, including the star and collar. This was the first time Camilla had worn the Thistle garb since being appointed to the order on June 16.

Prince William and Catherine, known in Scotland as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, arrived at the cathedral in the royal Rolls-Royce.

The crown jewels made their own separate journey to St. Giles’ from Edinburgh Castle for the service, accompanied by the King’s Body Guard for Scotland, the Royal Company of Archers, and an honor guard of armed forces personnel. More than 800 members of the armed forces are said to have been directly involved in Wednesday’s events.

The royal party’s arrival at St. Giles’ was marked by three pipers from Charles’ former school, Gordonstoun.

Between the prayers, hymns and the presentation of the Honours, five songs commissioned by Charles specifically for the service were performed, including one in Gaelic.

A 21-gun salute from the 12th Regiment Royal Artillery sounded at the end of the service before the royal procession returned to the Palace of Holyroodhouse to watch the flypast.

The celebrations came amid Charles’ first annual Holyrood Week – or Royal Week – during which the monarch travels across Scotland to celebrate its culture, achievement and community.

CNN’s Max Foster contributed to this report.

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