The Queen has made Prince William Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland this year. She appoints someone to represent her as Lord High Commissioner each year at the General Assembly. Her decision comes on the advice of the Prime Minister.
Buckingham Palace made the announcement yesterday.
As part of William’s role, he will work “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.”
Other members of the Royal Family who have been appointed to the position include the Princess Royal, the Earl of Wessex, Duke of York and Duke of Rothesay. The Princess Royal has held the role twice.
A person, who is a Scottish figure, is chosen due to contribution to society as well as their merit.
Buckingham Palace explained, “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.
“During the week of the Assembly, the Lord High Commissioner attends the Assembly to observe the debates. He or she also carries out a programme of engagements to reflect the work of charities and the Church. For instance, Sir George Reid, Scottish politician and former Presiding Officer, who was appointed in 2010 and 2011, used his programme to celebrate the work of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent. In 2012 and 2013, Lord Hope of Craighead, formerly Scotland’s most senior Supreme Court judge, undertook a programme of visits that highlighted themes of justice and inclusion.”