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by Margaret Taylor
09 September 2022
Scottish Parliament closes as Queen's coffin is expected in Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth died at Balmoral Castle yesterday

Scottish Parliament closes as Queen's coffin is expected in Edinburgh

All parliamentary business has been suspended in the Scottish Parliament following the death of the Queen, who passed away peacefully at Balmoral Castle yesterday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon led Scotland’s tributes to the 96-year-old monarch, whose coffin is expected to lie at rest at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh before making the journey back to Westminster Hall in London, saying she "loved, respected and admired" the Queen.

Presiding officer Alison Johnstone confirmed that parliamentary business had been suspended with immediate effect and that the parliament building would be closed to the public until further notice.

"On behalf of the Scottish Parliament, I convey our deepest and most sincere condolences to His Majesty King Charles III and the Royal Family following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth,” she said.

“This is a day of great sadness for the whole country and a time of deeply personal grief for the Royal Family.  

"The Queen was an extraordinary woman, who led an extraordinary life of service.  From the day that this parliament was established in 1999, Her Majesty showed her unwavering support for the institution and the time and importance she gave to that relationship is hugely appreciated.

"The parliament will have an opportunity to consider a motion of condolence and reflect on the life of this much loved and much respected monarch whose enduring bond with Scotland and the Scottish people will long be remembered."

Scottish Courts have also been adjourned until Monday, with Lord President Lord Carloway saying that the move was “a mark of respect for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth”.

“As the nation enters a period of mourning, the judiciary will support the royal family and facilitate the arrangements being put in place to enable members of the public to pay their respects,” he said.

Senior advocates' titles have changed from Queen's Counsel to King's Counsel with immedaiate effect.

It is unclear whether the UK Parliament will also be suspended as members had been due to debate whether emergency legislation is required to protect households from soaring energy prices.

Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was appointed by the Queen at Balmoral earlier this week, had just announced a two-year energy price freeze when news that the monarch was gravely ill broke.

The Commons will sit today and tomorrow to allow members to pay tribute to the Queen and also swear an allegiance to King Charles.

The House of Lords is not currently sitting and previously announced business has been postponed. Lords speaker, Lord McFall, said that Black Rod would make an announcement regarding further arrangements for the house.

“‘Following the death of the Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the nation and the whole Commonwealth is united in deep mourning,” he said.

“For 70 years she has been a loyal and steadfast presence in the national life of the United Kingdom.

“Her integrity, unique record of public service, deep sense of faith and commitment to her role have ensured that she will be regarded as a supreme example of a constitutional monarch.

“Her vital relationship with our chamber, where the three elements of parliament come together during the state opening, ensures that she will be forever remembered and cherished by the House of Lords.”

Paying tribute on behalf of the Commons, speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said the Queen would be missed “beyond measure”, noting that she has been “a constant presence in our lives”.

“During her 70 years on the throne – and even before that, as a teenager, reassuring and engaging with children and families disrupted by the Second World War – she has given our lives a sense of equilibrium,” he said.

“While her reign has been marked by dramatic changes in the world, Her Majesty has maintained her unwavering devotion to the UK, the British Overseas Territories and the Commonwealth of Nations - and her gentle authority and sound reason have been felt throughout.”

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