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Scottish Parliament opening Thursday, 1 July, 1999, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Countdown to the official opening
Route map
The ceremony for the official opening of the new Scottish Parliament was a mixture of both the traditional and modern. BBC News Online details the timetable of main events.

For more information on specific parts of the proceedings, click on links within the text.

Wednesday 30 June

1830 Official programme begins with the "Kirking" (Blessing) of the Parliament at St Giles Cathedral.

The Very Reverend Gilleasbuig Macmillan conducts a service attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Thursday 1 July

0200 Roads on the official route are sanded and restrictions on traffic along Royal Mile begin.

0700 Police begin a programme of road closures and traffic diversions.

Royal Marines
The Royal Marines Band
Bands, street liners and the Crown escort arrive at the Castle Esplanade.

The Royal Marines Band marches to the Palace of Holyroodhouse where it provides incidental music before the ceremony begins.

The Duke of Hamilton, the Lord Lyon King of Arms, Director of Historic Scotland and the Governor of the Castle arrive in the Great Hall.

The Royal Car travels from Holyrood to Edinburgh Castle ready to collect the Crown.

0845 The Lowland Band, positioned at the lower end of the Royal Mile, and the Highland Band and RAF Leuchars pipes and drums, at the upper end, move from the Esplanade and provide incidental music.

0900 A short handover ceremony of the Crown in the Great Hall is followed by the signing of a receipt by the Duke of Hamilton.

0915 The Crown is taken by car from Crown Square, where it is joined before going through the arch onto the Esplanade by the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders escort and led by mounted police.

Troops line up on the esplanade to salute as the Crown passes. The Crown is taken down the Lawnmarket, Bank Street and the Mound to the Assembly Hall.

The Crown of Scotland
The Crown of Scotland
The Crown arrives at the Assembly Hall, with the cars proceeding through the arch to the courtyard in front of the Assembly Hall.

The military escort falls out in front of the Free Church and returns to the castle.

The Duke of Hamilton, escorted by Lord Lyon, carries the Crown into the Assembly Hall. Police and parliament security receive the Crown in a secure room where it is kept under guard. The car then returns to Holyrood Palace.

The Royal Company of Archers Guard of Honour arrives at Holyrood Palace.

0930 - 1000 Fiddler Aly Bain and the BT Scottish Ensemble play in Parliament Hall.

0940 - 0955 The Edinburgh Samba School Band begin playing in Parliament Square West.

0945 - 1000 MSPs and guests arrive at Parliament Hall for the civic procession. They go via the Committee Chambers from George IV Bridge, across Parliament Square and through the Signet Library door.

0955 - 1010 The RAF Leuchars Band plays in Parliament Square West.

1000 Live broadcast of the ceremony begins. The broadcast is also relayed to screens in Mound Square, East Princes Street gardens and the Chamber.

1000 - 1015 Military streetliners move down the Esplanade to line the route from John Knox's House to the Assembly Hall.

Guests and VIPs arrive at the Assembly Hall .

1000 - 1100 Children taking part in the parade arrive in coaches at Johnston Terrace.

1010 - 1025
Parliament Hall
MSPs gathered first in Parliament Hall
The ceremony in Parliament Hall begins, with the Lord President; Presiding Officer; First Minister; Scottish National Party leader; Scottish Conservative Party leader and leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats entering the hall for speeches overseen by the Presiding Officer.

Young people involved in the civic procession gather behind St Giles Cathedral.

1025 - 1040 The West Lothian Schools Brass Band plays in Parliament Square West.

1025 - 1045 The procession's participants are called out of Parliament Hall and line up in the square behind St Giles in rows of four.

They will be joined by an escort of young people. The Black Watch Pipe Band moves from Parliament Square into position; other bands move off Royal Mile to Johnston Terrace to form part of young people's procession.

Black Watch
The Black Watch regiment
The procession moves into the High Street via Parliament Square East, along Bank Street and the Mound.

The pipe band is followed by representatives of civic Scotland, MSPs, the Presiding and Deputy Presiding Officers and the First Minister. The Inverness Gaelic choir performs in the courtyard until the Queen enters the Assembly Hall.

1100 The civic procession arrives at Assembly Hall and the band falls out in front of the Free Church.

Young people then take up position in front of the military streetliners along the route to the Assembly Hall.

Everyone in the procession, except the MSPs, is led into the courtyard by the clerk.

The MSPs are then ushered in and gather in two side corridors by 1120.

The Presiding Officer, First Minister and Deputy Presiding Officers wait at the entrance to the courtyard.

1115 The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay, leave Holyrood Palace by carriage, escorted by the Household Cavalry.

The Royal Company of Archers forms a Guard of Honour at the Palace.

The Royal Marine Band at the Palace plays the national anthem as The Queen leaves.

A 21-gun salute was fired at the castle
A 21-gun salute begins at the Castle. The First Minister, Presiding Officer and his deputies go to the street to meet the Queen's carriage.

Meanwhile, the Duke of Hamilton goes to the secure room to collect the Crown.

1123 The carriage arrives in Ramsay Lane and the Queen is met by the First Minister, Presiding Officer and his deputies.

The party walks up through the courtyard and into the Assembly Hall.

The First Minister remains in the black and white corridor and the others proceed to Presiding Officer's room.

1125 The first part of Scottish composer of James MacMillan's fanfare is played as MSPs take their seats in the Chamber.

The fanfare is played by brass musicians from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

As soon as the MSPs are seated, the procession lines up and the Queen and Presiding Officer move into place

1129 The First Minister enters and takes his usual seat on front bench

1130 The second part of the fanfare plays as the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, Lord Lyon King of Arms, Duke of Hamilton, who is carrying the Crown of Scotland, and other officials enter the chamber.

The Queen is escorted to her seat by the Presiding Officer and the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles are escorted to their seats in front of the government bench by the Deputy Presiding Officers.

The Duke of Hamilton then places the Crown on a table.

1133 The Presiding Officer welcomes the Queen and guests.

The Queen
The Queen declared the parliament open
The Queen makes her speech, officially opening the parliament.

The Mace, which has been covered by a cloth, is uncovered by a herald at the end of the Queen's speech.

1142 BBC commentator Tom Flemming reads The Beginning of a New Song, by Iain Crichton Smith.

1144 The Robert Burns song A Man's A Man for A' That is sung by Sheena Wellington.

1147 The First Minister thanks the Queen.

1151 How to Make a Great Scotland, by Amy Linekar, a winner of the National Year of Reading Schools Competition, is read by Victoria Joffe, winner of the Elizabeth Peacock Cup at the finals of the Business and Professional Women UK public speaking competition.

1152 The Hundredth Psalm - All People That on Earth Do Dwell - is sung.

1156 The Duke of Hamilton moves to the table to lift the Crown and carries it before the Queen as the procession leaves the Chamber.

1200 - 1210 The Queen, Royal Party, First Minister and Presiding Officer are escorted to the platform in front of the Free Church, next to the Assembly Hall. MSPs exit to the front of Assembly Hall.

1215 - 1245
Red Arrows
The Red Arrows display team
The parade of young people passes in front of the platform and continues down the Mound and along Princes Street.

The Red Arrows fly past shortly after the start of the parade.

The Queen and others on the platform move down to speak to the children, thanking them for their participation in the parade.

1235 The live screen broadcast ends. A compere introduces the City of Edinburgh Music School and Martyn Bennett in East Princes Street Gardens.

1245 The parade arrives at Kings Stables Road and proceeds into the Gardens.

1250 The Royal Party returns to Holyrood.

1300 Guests attend lunch reception at Parliament Hall and Signet Library.

Roads are re-opened as soon as most guests have moved to Parliament Square.

Links to more Scottish Parliament opening stories are at the foot of the page.

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Links to more Scottish Parliament opening stories

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