King Charles III today paid a moving tribute to his late mother on his first public engagement with his wife since the Queen’s death.
His Majesty and the Queen Consort Camilla formally conferred city status on Dunfermline as part of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations – and the monarch said the event would ‘gladden my dear mother’s heart, as it certainly gladdens mine’.
Charles and Camilla were welcomed to Fife by community groups including a local pipe band and schoolchildren – with the King and his wife stopping to speak to crowds and shake their hands. One of those who waited to meet Charles was 91-year-old Catherine Gillian-Adams, who said she was ‘thrilled to bits’ her home town was now a city.
Thousands gathered in Dunfermline to see the royal couple and other VIPs including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – who was greeted by cheers and boos. But there was clapping and cries of ‘God Save the King’ when Charles, wearing a blue tartan kilt, arrived.
His Majesty and his wife attended an official council meeting at the City Chambers where the King formally marked the conferral of city status on Dunfermline and made a short speech. It is their first joint public engagements since royal mourning ended last Tuesday.
In the ceremony the King said he was ‘delighted’ when it was announced the town would become a city. He said he hoped people would feel a ‘real sense of pride in this new chapter’.
He said: ‘That would, I know, gladden my dear mother’s heart, as it certainly gladdens mine. As you celebrate your well-deserved status as Scotland’s new City, I can only offer my warmest congratulations, and my heartfelt wishes for the years to come’.
He added: ‘I was delighted when, in May this year, it was announced that Dunfermline was one of the eight communities being granted City Status to mark The late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. There could be no more fitting way to mark my beloved mother’s extraordinary life of service than by granting this honour to a place made famous by its own long and distinguished history, and by the indispensable role it has played in the life of our country.
‘Now, of course, we gather to celebrate this great occasion but also to commemorate the life of Her late Majesty, whose deep love for Scotland was one of the foundations of her life’.
After the ceremony they visited Dunfermline Abbey to mark its 950th anniversary, and will meet with representatives from Historic Scotland to learn about the history of the local area and conservation of the site. The Abbey is the burial place of Robert The Bruce and more of Scotland’s royalty.
King Charles III arrives at an official council meeting at the City Chambers in Dunfermline, Fife, to formally mark the conferral of city status on the former town
King Charles III greets members of the public, who cheered his arrival and said ‘God Save the King’
King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla wave at an official ceremony to mark Dunfermline as a city
Charles used his speech to declare: ‘We gather to celebrate this great occasion but also to commemorate the life of Her late Majesty, whose deep love for Scotland was one of the foundations of her life’
The letters patent confirming Dunfermline formally awarded city status
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is greeted by Lord Provost of Dunfermline Jim Leishman as she arrives at the City Chambers in Dunfermline. There were cheers and boos
School children wait for the arrival of King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla
Children are lifted on to the shoulders of their parents as they watch the festivities in Dunfermline
Downing Street denies Liz Truss told King Charles to skip Cop27 in Egypt
No 10 today said it was ‘ridiculous’ to claim Liz Truss told the King to avoid the COP27 event in Egypt next month.
The PM’s spokesman denied she had ordered the monarch to stay away.
He said: ‘We have a proud record when it comes to Cop, we are forging ahead with our plans for net zero’.
The monarch, who has previously called for a ‘vast, military-style campaign’ to fight climate change, had reportedly planned to make a speech at the meeting of world leaders in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in November.
But the Prime Minister, who also won’t be attending, objected to his plans during an audience at Buckingham Palace last month.
It comes amid growing suspicion that the government is planning to water down or even abandon its target of ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050.
The Palace said advice had been sought by the King and given by Miss Truss.
After the royal couple left Dunfermline city chambers, they were again shaking hands with well-wishers gathered outside as they left and went to Dunfermline Abbey, where the royal couple saw the resting place of Robert the Bruce.
Bill Henderson, 71, who was was amongst the crowds who waited to greet the King and Queen Consort, told how locals were excited the town was now becoming a city
Speaking about it, he said: ‘It’s a historic event.
‘I was born just before the Queen was came to the throne, so she’s been my monarch my whole life. It’s just exciting.
‘And especially a King Charles coming back to Dunfermline when King Charles I was born here, however long ago that was.’
Teacher Carol Williams, 52, commented: ‘It’s such an honour for Dunfermline to be his first visit as the new King.’
Eight places have won city status as part of the late monarch’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Dunfermline’s bid for the status was based on its heritage and its historic status as an ancient seat of royal power, but also one of the fastest-growing towns in Europe.
The King and his wife will also host a reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on Monday to celebrate British South Asian communities.
They will meet with between 200 and 300 guests of British Indian, Pakistani, Bangladesh, Sri Lankan, Nepalese, Bhutanese and Maldivian heritage from across the UK.
The event will recognise the contribution many from these communities have made to the National Health Service, arts, media, education, business and the Armed Forces.
Charles will also hold an investiture ceremony for a small group of local people, his first as King.
The couple’s visit started at the City Chambers where the waiting crowd was so deep and stretched so far that it was impossible to count them.
Charles, wearing the Old Stewart Tartan, and Camilla in a favourite tartan outfit by Mr Roy, were greeted by deafening cheers as they shook hands with an official line up, which included Ms Sturgeon, and a local pipe band.
Accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of Fife, Robert Balfour, the party proceed into the Chamber Room where The King formally marked the conferral of City status on Dunfermline
Councillor Jim Leishman, the Provost of Fife, said it was a ‘privilege’ that the King had chosen to take part in the ceremony ‘so early on in his reign’.
Ms Sturgeon highlighted the fact that the silks that Her Late Majesty used both in her wedding and coronation gowns had been made in the old silk mill in Dunfermline.
She added: ‘It is a great honour indeed that at the start of a new era Your Majesties are here to mark this further milestone for this very special community. ‘
Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack MP, said before the ceremony: ‘It is a huge honour for Dunfermline to be bestowed city status and will be a huge boost to the city and its people. And it’s a huge honour that the King and Queen have made this their first official visit together after royal mourning. The decision was taken by the late Queen personally to choose Dunfermline. Between then and now, the King has really rode into action and honoured the date.
‘The crowds are lining a long way back, there’s huge enthusiasm and lots of Union flags. ‘
King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla, hold their first joint public engagement since royal mourning ended
Camilla, Queen Consort arrives at Dunfermline Abbey, with a posy of flowers
Britain’s King Charles III and Britain’s Camilla, Queen Consort greet members of the public
The King and Queen Consort formally mark the conferral of city status on the former town
Eight places have become cities as part of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The former towns each made a bid for city status as part of the Platinum Jubilee Civic Honours Competition and were asked to highlight their royal associations, as well as showcase their communities and local identity.
Dunfermline’s bid for city status was based on its heritage and its historic status as an ancient seat of royal power but it is also one of the fastest growing towns in Europe.
Before they left the couple signed a visitor’s book where the King appeared to make a light-hearted reference to his recent viral tussles with pens on official engagements.
Handing the writing implement to his wife he laughingly seemed to say: ‘These things are so temperamental’.
The King has twice been caught on camera struggling with his pen when signing official documents in recent weeks.
Outside the couple headed immediately towards the cheering crowds, where among the first people they met was George Findlay, 79, from Perth.
He said: ‘His mother was my boss for several years when I was in the Royal Navy. He’s a good man and I think he will made a good king. I’m just so chuffed he has taken so much time to meet everyone. ‘
Lesley McAuliffe, 60, from Dunfermline, showed Camilla her Union Flag-lined jacket.
‘She is a wonderful Queen Consort,’ she said.
Marian and Charlie McLaughlen also spoke to the king,
Mrs McLaughlen said: ‘I think he will embody all the best qualities of the Queen and bring something of his own to the role.
‘Such a pleasure to meet them.’
The couple made the short walk down to Dunfermline Abbey, to mark its 950th anniversary. The Queen visited when it celebrated its 900th.
Their Majesties met with representatives from Historic Scotland to learn about the history of the local area and conservation of the site.
Dunfermline was established as the new seat of power in 1057 by King Malcolm III after he killed Macbeth.
He married Margaret of Wessex who brought the Benedictine monks to Scotland and was later canonised as a saint.
Dunfermline Abbey is the ancient the burial site of Kings and Queens of Scotland, including King Robert the Bruce.
The couple made a point to visiting his grave and talking about the history of the abbey before meeting local community organisations and supporters.
Outside they spoke to more of the crowds, including Catherine Gellan-Adams’s 91, whose stylish hat was admired by the Queen Consort.
‘We are all here because we are royalists but quite apart from that I think he is a sensible guy and his wife is a sensible lady too,’ she said.
‘I think she will keep him on the straight and narrow and I told her that. And she laughed and said yes she would.’
Elspeth Duncan, 75, from Dunfermline said she was ‘overjoyed’ at meeting the new King and Queen Consort.
Remarking on the booing of Nicola Sturgeon she said: ‘That doesn’t surprise me. She thinks she is Queen of Scotland and doesn’t realise how many people dislike her. We are very happy with the Royal Family we have and with the union, thank you.’
It came amid claims that King Charles III will not attend the Cop27 climate summit after being told to stay away by Liz Truss.
The monarch was reportedly planning to make a speech at the meeting of world leaders in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, in November.
But the Prime Minister, who will also not attend, objected to his plans during an audience at Buckingham Palace last month.
It comes amid growing suspicion that the Government is planning to water down or even abandon its target of ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050. The Palace said advice had been sought by the King and was given by Miss Truss. ‘With mutual friendship and respect there was agreement that the King would not attend,’ the Palace said.
But the decision is likely to have disappointed the King, who as Prince of Wales had a long history of campaigning to reduce the effects of climate change. As heir to the throne he also had a reputation for interfering in government business, most recently expressing his distaste for the Government’s plan to send illegal immigrants to Rwanda.
After the death of his mother, friends insisted he will not cool on the issue of global warming.
the King was greeted by pipes on St Catherine’s Wynd as the monarch arrived to confer city status on Dunfermline
Dunfermline Abbey ahead of the arrival on King Charles III
But as monarch he is obliged to remain politically neutral, and in his address to the nation after the Queen’s death, he acknowledged that ‘it will no longer be possible to give so much time to the… issues for which I care so deeply’.
Before his ascension to the throne last month, King Charles had indicated he would attend the 27th UN Climate Change Conference, known as Cop27, which will run from November 6 to 18.
A source told the Daily Mail there had never been any firm plans for the King to go, though he has attended previously, leading to speculation he would again this year. As all foreign visits are undertaken at the request of the British Government, advice was sought by the Palace.
The ‘unanimous’ decision, it has been suggested, is that with so many demands for the King to be deployed abroad, Cop27 would not be the ‘right occasion’ for his first overseas visit as sovereign.
Sources highlighted his address to the nation following his mother’s death, in which he stressed that he remains ‘ever mindful’ of his constitutional role in light of his change of circumstances.
As previously highlighted by the Mail, it is understood that the environment will remain central to his work as sovereign.
In 2015, he delivered the opening address at Cop21 in Paris, describing climate change as the greatest threat facing humanity.
In a hard-hitting speech the King echoed Winston Churchill by calling on ‘the few’ to take action to save the planet, urging world leaders to commit ‘trillions, not billions, of dollars’.
He also delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of Cop26 in Glasgow last year, calling on world leaders to adopt a ‘warlike footing’ to deal with climate change. Although he will not attend Cop27 in person, it is understood he is still determined to make his presence felt, leaving the door open for a virtual appearance.
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood said in a tweet that he hoped the King would be allowed to go to Egypt, adding that he was a ‘globally respected voice’ on the environment whose attendance would add ‘serious authority’ to the British delegation.
While Boris Johnson became an enthusiastic advocate for net zero, Miss Truss is thought to be more sceptical of the green agenda.
A government source said: ‘The Palace and the Government considered separately, and then agreed jointly, that… he is not going to be attending Cop.’
Nicola Sturgeon’s mixed reception: Scotland’s First Minister is booed and cheered by crowd as she arrives in Dunfermline for city-making ceremony – while King Charles is greeted by fans waving Union flags
Nicola Sturgeon today received a mixed reception as she arrived for a historic city-making ceremony in Dunfermline.
The Scottish First Minister was loudly booed by parts of the crowd – and cheered by others – as she smiled and waved to fellow Scots outside Dunfermline City Chambers this morning.
Royal fans had gathered outside the 140-year-old council building to catch a glimpse of King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla – who are also attending the event.
Dunfermline, which is just across the Forth estuary from the Scottish capital Edinburgh, was granted city status earlier this year as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
But the Monarch died last month, at the age of 96, before the ceremony to formally mark the honour could take place.
Today, Charles, who ascended the throne last month following the death of his mother, will be among those attending the city-making ceremony.
Nicola Sturgeon today received a frosty reception as she arrived ahead of King Charles for a historic city-making ceremony in Dunfermline. Pictured: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is greeted by Lord Provost of Dunfermline Jim Leishman as she arrives at the City Chambers in Dunfermline, Fife
Ahead of the event, First Minister Sturgeon arrived at Dunfermline City Chambers, where she was met by Lord Provost of Dunfermline Jim Leishman.
But as she turned to wave to the largely royalist crowds, the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) leader was met with a mixed reception. Among a smattering of cheers and claps were loud boos and whistles.
The moment was captured on camera by ITV’s royal editor Chris Ship.
Posting the video on Twitter, he wrote: ‘If you needed a reminder of how decisive Scottish politics can be, Nicola Sturgeon was mostly booed (plus some cheers) by the crowd waiting for King Charles and Camilla to arrive.
‘This is a crowd waiting for a monarch to turn up but took me by surprise…’.
In sharp contrast, King Charles was later seen greeting crowds, some of whom were waving the Union flag.