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British RoyalsCoronavirusThe Cambridges

The Queen appoints Prince William to a pivotal new role

Photo: Charlie Proctor/Royal Central

The Duke of Cambridge has been named the Lord High Commissioner to the 2021 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

In this position, Prince William will act on behalf of The Queen as the Church of Scotland gathers online in May for its General Assembly.

The Earl of Strathearn, as he is known in Scotland, was named for the position in an official letter to the Right Rev Dr Martin Fair, the current Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

“We are honoured that her Majesty has once again appointed Prince William as Lord High Commissioner,” said Rev Dr George Whyte, the Principal Clerk of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, in a statement on the Church’s website shared on March 22nd 2-21.

“We look forward to welcoming His Royal Highness to the General Assembly.”

William had been due to take part in last year’s General Assembly before the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of a full gathering in May, as per usual, a smaller-scale event was held over two days in October.

As the Lord High Commissioner of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, William will act for the Sovereign and “maintain the relationship between the State and the Church,” according to the Royal Family’s website. The role includes making an opening and closing address to the General Assembly, observing the debates over the week and carrying out engagements on behalf of the Church and its charitable work.

Throughout the week, William will report on the proceedings to The Queen and keep her informed of developments.

A Lord High Commissioner has been appointed since the 16th century and has, on several occasions, been a member of the Royal Family. All four of The Queen’s children have acted as Lord High Commissioner throughout her reign. The Queen has attended proceedings twice: in 1969 and 2002.

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.