The Queen just gave her grandson Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, the new title of Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland this year. Prince William will take over this role at a very important time for England-Scotland relations, as Britain is preparing to leave the EU.
Now with the new title comes new responsibilities. The Prince will be the one who will represent the monarch at the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly from 16-22 May this year and will have to attend engagements and events that highlight the work that the charities and the church do.
The Queen is still the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, a role that William will inherit in the future, the Church of Scotland is independent. But the monarch has the duty of maintaining it, a role defined in the 1707 Act of Union between England and Scotland.
According to the royal family’s website, “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.”
During those 6 days, Prince William will address those present at the opening and closing, and when its all over he will report the proceedings directly to the Queen.
Prince William is known as the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland, instead of Duke of Cambridge, and he will be based at the Palace of Holyroodhouse during the Assembly and will receive a Guard of Honor, a 21-Gun Salute and the keys to the city of Edinburgh. Some reports indicate that the Duchess of Cambridge, or the Countess of Strathearn in Scotland, will most likely join her husband for at least some part of the week.
Each year the Queen appoints someone-usually some predominant Scottish figure-to the role, in recognition of their contribution to society. Before William, the role has been given to lots of royals, such as Princess Anne, Prince Charles – known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland – the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex.