There’s been an interesting energy around the British Commonwealth and the United Kingdom this year. The energy is… chickens coming home to roost. Dominos beginning to fall. A weakened monarchy and a weakened Tory government. While commonwealth nations will probably leave the British commonwealth en masse when Queen Liz passes, it’s pretty curious to check in on the Scottish independence movement from time to time. Scotland has had one independence vote and it didn’t pass, but that was before Brexit and that was before Covid. The Windsors know that Scottish independence is a movement which grows in popularity with each passing year too. They were so worried, there was even a short-lived plan to send the Earl and Countess of Wessex to live in Scotland full-time. Now the Queen has appointed Prince Baldingham and the Angry Inch to be the Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
Find out more 👇https://t.co/YaPU7FjUYU
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) March 22, 2021
At first I thought this was, like, a permanent position? Or that he would have this for a while? But no, it seems like an annual thing and various royals or Scots are appointed each year to act as “Lord High Commissioner to represent the Sovereign at the General Assembly.” In years past, Prince Anne, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward have all taken the annual position. William was supposed to do it last year but the pandemic happened (and William covered up his own Covid diagnosis). I was curious about this so I actually read the link to the royal website and here’s part of it:
Monarchs have sworn to maintain the Church of Scotland since the sixteenth century. The duty to “preserve the settlement of the true Protestant religion as established by the laws made in Scotland” was affirmed in the 1707 Act of Union between England and Scotland.
The Church of Scotland is a Presbyterian church and recognises only Jesus Christ as ‘King and Head of the Church’. The Queen therefore does not hold the title ‘Supreme Governor’ of the Church of Scotland; when attending Church services in Scotland Her Majesty does so as an ordinary member.
The Church of Scotland is entirely self-governing. It is managed on a local level by kirk sessions, at a district level by presbyteries, and at a national level by the General Assembly, which comprises 850 commissioners and meets each May, generally in Edinburgh.
The Sovereign is represented at the General Assembly by the Lord High Commissioner, who attends as an observer and is appointed by Her Majesty on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Lord High Commissioner’s role is to maintain the relationship between the State and the Church, and a long-standing tradition of appointing a Lord High Commissioner originated in the latter part of the 16th Century.
The Lord High Commissioner makes opening and closing addresses to the General Assembly and reports to Her Majesty on its proceedings. For the duration of the General Assembly, the Sovereign grants the Lord High Commissioner permission to reside at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and, during this time, His or Her Grace receives a Guard of Honour, a 21-Gun Salute and the keys to the City of Edinburgh. It is also customary for the Lord High Commissioner to invite distinguished guests to stay at the Palace, and to offer hospitality to Commissioners to the Assembly and those who have contributed to public life in Scotland.
“For the duration of the General Assembly, the Sovereign grants the Lord High Commissioner permission to reside at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.” Interesting. Anyway, after all of that… it turns out that this year’s Church of Scotland General Assembly will be entirely online this year in May. They’re still keeping things on lockdown (as they should) so everything will be livestreamed. So William doesn’t even have to physically show up. He gets to Zoom in from Anmer Hall (or Houghton Hall). Anyway, just a reminder that the Windsors keep trying to insert themselves into Scotland and making Wandering Workshy Willy any kind of representative to the Church of Scotland will probably be a disaster!
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.
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