Page last updated at 11:56 GMT, Friday, 3 April 2009 12:56 UK

Queen to mark devolution birthday

The Queen delivers her speech during the opening ceremony of the Scottish Parliament in 1999
The Queen spoke at the opening ceremony of the parliament in 1999

The Queen is to mark the 10th anniversary of devolution in Scotland with a visit to the parliament at Holyrood.

She is to address MSPs in the debating chamber on 1 July - exactly 10 years after she opened the Scottish Parliament on The Mound in Edinburgh.

It was the day Holyrood received full legislative powers.

Five years later, she officially opened the new Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood.

During her visit in July, the Queen will meet 10-year-old children who were born on 1 July 1999.

Presiding officer Alex Fergusson said more than two-thirds of the 163 babies born on 1 July 1999 had been traced and he was confident of hearing from the remainder in the final phase of the search.

"This is a special day for our 1 July babies and the Scottish Parliament," he said.

"We are delighted Her Majesty will be able to join us as we mark our 10th birthday."

Presiding officer

Events to be held in the run-up to the anniversary include a travelling exhibition looking back on the parliament's first 10 years, and the unveiling on 12 May of a portrait of veteran Nationalist Winnie Ewing.

As the oldest MSP elected in 1999, she chaired proceedings until a presiding officer was chosen.

When Holyrood met for the first time on 12 May 1999, she told MSPs: "I want to begin with the words that I have always wanted either to say or to hear someone else say, the Scottish Parliament, which adjourned on 25 March 1707, is hereby reconvened."

Events also include a reception by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at the Palace of Holyroodhouse for MSPs on 26 June.



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