The Queen has appointed her grandson the Duke of Cambridge as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland this year. William takes on the role at a key time for the union between England and Scotland, as Britain prepares to leave the EU.
The new role means he will represent the monarch at the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly from 16-22 May this year and is likely to carry out engagements to highlight the work of charities and the church.
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While the Queen is Supreme Governor of the Church of England – a role William will inherit one day – the Church of Scotland is independent. But the monarch’s duty to maintain it forms part of the 1707 Act of Union between England and Scotland.
The Queen and Prince William
According to the royal family’s website, “The Sovereign is represented at the General Assembly by the Lord High Commissioner, who attends as an observer and is appointed by Her Majesty on the advice of the Prime Minister.”
William will make opening and closing addresses to the Assembly and report back to the Queen on proceedings.
The Duke, who is known as the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland, will be based at the Palace of Holyroodhouse during the Assembly and will receive a Guard of Honour, a 21-Gun Salute and the keys to the City of Edinburgh. HELLO! understands the Duchess, known as the Countess of Strathearn north of the border, is likely to join him for at least part of the week.
Each year the Queen appoints someone – usually a Scottish figure - to the role, in recognition of their contribution to society.
Members of the royal family have also been appointed in the past, including Princess Anne, Prince Charles – known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland – the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex.
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