Calm down Nicola! Queen tells Sturgeon and cronies now is a 'time for hope and optimism' as she urges Scottish Parliament members into 'quiet thinking and contemplation'
- The Queen said it was a 'time for hope and optimism' as she opened the fifth session of Scottish Parliament today
- Stressed the need for political figures to make 'room for quiet thinking and contemplation' in this 'fast-moving world'
- Her Majesty also referred to 'increasingly complex and demanding' times at the ceremony held a week after Brexit
- Nicola Sturgeon wished her a 'happy 90th birthday year' before saying she will 'not shy away from any challenge'
Opening the fifth session of Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh today, Her Majesty used her address to refer to 'increasingly complex and demanding' times where events and developments 'can and do take place at remarkable speed'.
The opening ceremony was held just over a week after the UK voted to leave the European Union - but Scotland's vote to stay prompted fresh fears over the future of the Union, with a second Scottish independence referendum now a real possibility.
Opening the fifth session of Scottish Parliament today, Her Majesty used her address to refer to 'increasingly complex and demanding' times where events and developments 'can and do take place at remarkable speed'. The Queen said now is a time for 'hope and optimism'.
The Queen meets First Minister and Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon, as she attends the opening of the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Her Majesty urged political leaders around the world to make 'room for quiet thinking and contemplation'
After the Queen's speech, Nicola Sturgeon wished her Majesty a 'very happy 90th birthday year' before saying that now is the time to 'come together and to look forward' as she promised to not 'shy away from any challenge we face, no matter how difficult or deep-rooted'
Agatha King, five, presents the Queen with flowers as she leaves the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh this afternoon
Addressing the congregation today, the Queen said: 'Occasions such as today are rightly a time for hope and optimism. The beginning of this new session in particular brings with it a real sense of renewal, with your largest intake of new members since 1999.
'For me, it also brings an echo of the excitement and enthusiasm I encountered that year, when many of the then MSPs – and I am pleased to note that quite a number are still serving today - set out on a collective journey in Scottish public service. Seventeen years, the Scottish Parliament has grown in maturity and skill. Of course, we all live in an increasingly complex and demanding world, where events and developments can and do take place at remarkable speed and retaining the ability to stay calm and collected can at times be hard.
'As this Parliament has successfully demonstrated over the years, one hallmark of leadership in such a fast moving world is allowing sufficient room for quiet thinking and contemplation, which can enable deeper, cooler consideration of how challenges and opportunities can be best addressed.
'I am sure also you will continue to draw inspiration from the founding principles of Parliament and the key values of wisdom, justice, compassion and integrity that are engraved on the mace. These principles and values have already served the Scottish Parliament well and they will continue to guide new and returning members in the coming years ahead.'
After the Queen's speech, Nicola Sturgeon wished her Majesty a 'very happy 90th birthday year'.
The First Minister of Scotland said now is the time to 'come together, to look forward' as she promised to not 'shy away from any challenge we face, no matter how difficult or deep-rooted'.
She reminded her Parliament that 'we must always remember our duty to lead by example'.
The Duke of Edinburgh and Ken Macintosh (left), Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, look on as the Queen meets Nicola Sturgeon (third right), Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson (second right) and Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale (right) in Edinburgh
The Queen looked resplendent in a peppermint jacket and floral dress as she arrived at Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh today
The Queen arrives at Scottish Parliament with Ken Macintosh, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, as the Duke of Edinburgh follows behind. Her Majesty used her address in opening the fifth session to refer to 'increasingly complex and demanding' times
Top left to right: The Queen, Ken Macintosh, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, and the Duke of Edinburgh listen as First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon speaks during the opening of the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh earlier today
The SNP leader used her address to celebrate the country's diversity, highlighting the role of immigrants in Scotland past and present.
She also stressed Scotland's determination to 'play our part in a stronger Europe'.
At the ceremony, held to mark the new parliamentary session that is beginning after May's Holyrood election, she said that while MSPs come from 'a diverse variety of backgrounds all of us have been given the precious opportunity to contribute to building a better country and build it we will'.
Ms Sturgeon added: 'To do so we must be bold and ambitious, we must show courage and determination. Our collective commitment to the people of Scotland today is that we will not shy away from any challenge we face, no matter how difficult or deep rooted.'
She recalled that at the opening of the first Scottish Parliament in 1999, the late first minister Donald Dewar said the Holyrood institution 'is about more than our politics and our laws, this is about who we are, how we carry ourselves'.
The First Minister continued: 'So allow me to reflect on who we are in Scotland today. We are more than five million men and women, adults, young people and children, each with our own life story and family history, and our own hopes and dreams.
'We are the grandchildren and the great grandchildren of the thousands who came from Ireland to work in our shipyards and in our factories
'We are the 80,000 Polish people, the 8,000 Lithuanians, the 7,000 each from France, Spain, Germany, Italy and Latvia. We are among the many from countries beyound our shores that we are so privileged to have living here amongst us.
Ken Macintosh (left), Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament looks on as the Queen meets Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie
The Queen inspects the Crown of Scotland in the Black and White Corridor as she leaves Scottish Parliament with the Presiding Officer
The SNP leader (left) used her address to celebrate the country's diversity, highlighting the role of immigrants in Scotland past and present, while the Queen called upon political leaders to remind political leaders to make 'room for quiet thinking and contemplation'
Her Majesty arrives in the Garden Lobby as she attends the opening of the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh today
The Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland march down to the Scottish Parliament from the Royal Mile to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon