Chicago Scots President and CEO, Gus Noble, was invited to attend the Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication at St Giles’ Cathedral that was held earlier today in Edinburgh. Gus’s invitation was as representative of the Scottish diaspora, a role that means a lot to Gus as a champion of Scottish culture in North America. In his role at Chicago Scots, Gus has developed relationships with many internationally known Scottish organizations and people, from the National Trust of Scotland to the Makar, the National Poet for Scotland. He is committed to bringing Scottish icons and memorable experiences to Scots in Chicago and North America. Today, Gus found himself instead, back in Scotland to have an incredible, memorable, historical experience himself, representing all Scots living outside of Scotland.
The Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication is part of the first “Royal Week” (also known as “Holyrood Week”) since His Majesty King Charles III was crowned King. Royal Week is an official week during which the reigning monarch visits Scotland. Throughout the week there are several celebrations of Scotland and an opportunity for His Majesty to spend time with a variety of Scots with all different backgrounds and experiences. Learn more about Royal Week here.
The Service of Thanksgiving, held this afternoon, celebrated the new King and Queen and included the presentation of the “Honours of Scotland. The festivities also included a People’s Procession and a Royal procession.
Gus Noble and Family outside the Holyroodhouse
It was already a special day for Gus who officially accepted his OBE earlier this morning just about a mile away at the Palace of Holyroodhouse where an investiture was held. He was originally planning on celebrating with his family immediately after the celebration. Instead he found himself walking on foot (roads were closed due to crowds of spectators) to the hottest ticket in town.
Gus Noble with Rev. Calum MacLeod and his wife Missy at The Stone of Destiny
Gus was especially thrilled to witness this historical event because Chicago Scots 2014 Distinguished Citizen and former governor, Rev. Calum MacLeod gave the Welcome and Call to Worship address at the beginning of the service. Chicago friends may know MacLeod from his time serving at Fourth Presbyterian Church downtown Chicago. MacLeod also gave an address at St. Giles’ at the Service of Thanksgiving honoring the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, last fall.
Other notable guests involved in the event included violinist Nicola Benedetti, Olympic rower Dame Katherine Grainger and First Minister Humza Yousaf who gave a reading during the service. Five new pieces of music were commissioned for the event and more information about these pieces, their composers and the performances can be found here.
The ceremony included the presentation of the Honours of Scotland – a sceptre and crown, along with the Elizabeth Sword, carried by Grainger. The sword is a newly crafted replacement for the Sword of State. The Sword of State dates back to 1507 and is too fragile to be used. Additionally, the Stone of Destiny was temporarily moved from the castle to the cathedral for the occasion.