I know that the Scottish Parliament and the people of Scotland share with me a profound sense of grief at the death of my beloved mother.
Presiding Officer, First Minister, Party Leaders and Members of the Scottish Parliament:
I know that the Scottish Parliament and the people of Scotland share with me a profound sense of grief at the death of my beloved mother. Through all the years of her reign, The Queen, like so many generations of our family before her, found in the hills of this land, and in the hearts of its people, a haven and a home.
My mother felt, as I do, the greatest admiration for the Scottish people, for their magnificent achievements and their indomitable spirit. And it was the greatest comfort for her to know, in turn, the true affection in which she was held. The knowledge of that deep and abiding bond must be to us a solace as we mourn the end of a life of incomparable service.
If I might paraphrase the words of the great Robert Burns, my dear mother was:
The friend of man, the friend of truth;
The friend of age, and guide of youth:
Few hearts like hers, with virtue warm’d,
Few heads with knowledge so inform’d:
While still very young, The Queen pledged herself to serve her country and her people and to maintain the principles of constitutional government. As we now mark, with gratitude, a promise most faithfully fulfilled, I am determined, with God’s help and with yours, to follow that inspiring example.
The title of Duke of Rothesay, and the other Scottish titles which I have had the honour to carry for so long, I now pass to my elder son, William, who I know will be as proud as I have been to bear the symbols of this ancient Kingdom.
I take up my new duties with thankfulness for all that Scotland has given me, with resolve to seek always the welfare of our country and its people, and with wholehearted trust in your goodwill and good counsel as we take forward that task together.