Opening Ceremony to mark the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament


The full line up of events to mark the opening of the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament have been announced.

The three main elements to the day are as follows:

HM Queen's address to Parliament: 11.00am - 12 noon

Order of ceremony

Programme of music performed by the National Youth Choir of Scotland

Fanfare by the State Trumpeters on Her Majesty’s arrival in the chamber,

followed by:

The Scottish Parliament’s Mace

The Crown of Scotland borne by the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon,

Welcome by The Presiding Officer

Address by Her Majesty The Queen

Performance of Piano Quintet No. 1 - inspired by The Scottish Parliament building. Composed by Tom Aitken and performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Ensemble

Poem – Open the Doors!, written by Edwin Morgan, performed by Scottish Youth Theatre

Poem – Threshold, written and performed by Jackie Kay, Scots Makar

Response to Her Majesty The Queen – The First Minister

Song – A Man’s a Man for A’ That, sung by Midge Ure OBE, Patron of Burnsong

Departure of Her Majesty The Queen

The Rowan Tree performed by the Scottish Parliament’s Piper Stuart McMillan MSP

The Riding: 12.00 noon to 1.00pm

Around 2,500 people will take part in the colourful, historic Riding Procession, down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.  The Riding will be led by the Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland (SCOTS Band) and followed by community groups  including Shetland Vikings; Polish, Punjabi and Highland dancers, pipe and brass bands, choirs, and martial arts organisation Yee’s Hung Ga who will be manning a Chinese dragon. 

The Riding will set off from East Market Street, make its way down the Royal Mile and finish in Holyrood’s landscaped grounds.

A full list of Riding participants can be found here:

Local Heroes nominated by their MSPs in recognition of the important work they do to help others will join the Riding as it approaches Holyrood.

Local Heroes details can be found here:

MSPs and guests from the Chamber will exit Queensberry House and also join the Riding. 

The Presiding Officer and Party Leaders will take their places on the dais in front of the Scottish Parliament and welcome the Riding.    

Holyrood’s Big Day Out: 2pm-6pm

A fun-packed afternoon for all the family.  The gardens and doors of the Scottish Parliament will be open to everyone to explore.  All events are free and there is no need to book – just come along for the afternoon to enjoy and celebrate with us.

Programme details are here:


Contact information

Media information

Public information

  • Telephone enquiry line: 0800 092 7500 or 0131 348 5395 (Gàidhlig)
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