Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Friday, 1 July 2011 11:38 UK

Scottish Parliament

The Queen addressed the Scottish Parliament at the royal opening of its fourth session on 30 June 2011.

Her majesty told MSPs the parliament was now firmly established as an integral part of Scottish life.

She said: "No-one would ever argue that Scottish politics is the business of the meek, the passive or the faint-hearted.

"As a close observer of every stage of this parliament's life, I remain confident that you will manage to discharge your duty diligently and competently."

Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond also addressed her majesty and the chamber.

Mr Salmond said: "This is a country increasingly comfortable in its own skin.

"We aspire to be more successful, more dynamic, fairer and greener."

The first minister went on to say: "Whatever constitutional path that the people of Scotland choose - and it is their choice to make - we will aspire to be, in your words, firm friends and equal partners."

The Scottish Parliament's new presiding officer, Tricia Marwick, began the ceremony by welcoming the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

As well as speeches in the main chamber, guests were treated to a performance of Robert Burns' "Now Westlin Winds", by award-winning folk singer Karine Polwart, and the reading of a specially-written poem by Scots Makar Liz Lochhead, entitled "Opening the Doors Again!".

Finally Kirsty Grace sang "Follow the Heron" by Karine Polwart before the presiding officer closed the meeting of parliament.

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