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Tartan blanket and £200 bottle of whisky among Scottish gifts to Queen marking Jubilee
1 June 2022, 17:13
The Queen is to be presented with two iconic Scottish gifts to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee - a £235 bottle of whisky and a tartan blanket.
Nicola Sturgeon has revealed that a limited edition bottle of Johnnie Walker whisky, with a special design to celebrate the beauty of Scotland’s plants and wildlife, and a throw made from the tartan commissioned in honour of the three bridges across the Forth, will be presented on behalf of Scots.
The First Minister also told MSPs that a "Jubilee Wood" of 70 native trees will be planted in Holyrood Park, within sight of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh to mark the occasion.
Ms Sturgeon said it was an "historically appropriate gesture" as the Queen’s first duty in Scotland following her accession to the throne had been to plant a cherry tree that still stands by the entrance to the Canongate Kirk - where her grand-daughter Zara Phillips was married in 2011.
It is also expected that wild flowers will be planted beneath the trees by primary and nursery school children.
She said: "This initiative will enhance the part of our capital city that the Queen knows and loves. It is also historically apt. It is hoped that the trees planted this year for her Platinum Jubilee will still be standing and flourishing 70 years from now, and indeed for many years after that, they will be an enduring and fitting reminder of a unique occasion in history and an expression of the regard and affection in which the Queen is held by so many across our nation."
Describing the Queen as a "very good friend to our parliament", the First Minister said that at every public event in Scotland "it was very obvious just how much public affection there is for her, and also was for the Duke of Edinburgh, who's loss last year will, I'm sure, be very keenly felt by her over the coming days."
She also said it was |one of the great privileges of being First Minister" to have private conversations with the Queen.
'These are, of course, rightly confidential, but it's fair to say that the opportunity to talk with her and to benefit from her knowledge, wisdom, and a unique perspective on modern history has been an experience that I deeply value and will always cherish."
Acknowledging that not all Scots support the royal family, she added: 'There are and always have been different views in our country, indeed in this chamber, about the institution of monarchy, and the democratic right to express those views is always to be celebrated.
"But the occasion of the Platinum Jubilee is not just about an institution. It is above all about the life and service of an extraordinary woman, someone who had no more choice than any of us do about the circumstances into which she was born, but who has given a lifetime of dedicated service, and we should all pay tribute to that.
"So it's absolutely right that we celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth let us congratulate her warmly on a rain of unprecedented length. And let us acknowledge with deep gratitude and respect her dedication to duty."
The bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label Rare Side of Scotland whisky to be presented to the Queen is designed by Timorous Beasties, incorporating the Aurora Borealis (or Northern Lights), three of Scotland’s rare large birds – the majestic white-tailed eagle, the curlew and the rapid eider duck, as well as two of Scotland’s smallest rare wonders: the narrow-bordered bee hawk-moth, and Scotland’s smallest butterfly – the Small Blue. Floral depictions of machair, saxifrage and mountain havens complete the scene.
The gifts will be presented when Nicola Sturgeon visits London to attend the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday and the Platinum Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace.