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Queen, 96, looks sprightly as she attends ‘act of loyalty’ military parade in Edinburgh

The Queen has been photographed beaming as she attended an armed forces parade in Edinburgh today.

Her Majesty, 96, joined the Armed Forces at the Palace of Holyroodhouse as they marked her Platinum Jubilee in Scotland.

The appearance came as Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is planning to announce her plans for a second referendum. This afternoon, she will outline how she intends to forge ahead with a second vote for Scottish independence either with or without Boris Johnson’s agreement.

But despite the potential constitutional crisis brewing, the Queen looked sprightly while she was pictured at the celebrations. 

And while she carried her now customary walking stick, a video of the monarch’s arrival showed her getting off the train alone, suggesting her mobility may be good at the moment.

Her Majesty appeared happy to be in Scotland today (pictured) as she attended an armed forces parade in the gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse

As has become common these days, her Majesty, 96, was photographed carrying a walking stick during today's appearance

The monarch appeared to be in good spirits as she attended the parade in Edinburgh, and was photographed beaming

Her Majesty, 96, was photographed carrying a walking stick during today’s appearance, but despite that, was still seen beaming

Today's Act of Loyalty Parade (pictured) is just part of a whole week of royal events set to take place in Scotland this week

Today’s Act of Loyalty Parade (pictured) is just part of a whole week of royal events set to take place in Scotland this week

Among today’s celebrations were a parade and presentation of the key for Edinburgh Castle in the gardens of the palace. 

The army, navy and the air force were represented at the service, with a royal salute taking place as the Queen arrived in the gardens.

Lord Lyon, King of Arms, then presented three senior representatives from the services to the Queen.

They were joined by three cadets, representing each service, who then paraded the key to Edinburgh Castle across the gardens before presenting it to Major General Alastair Bruce of Crionaich, Governor of Edinburgh Castle.

Her Majesty donned a lavender coat with large ox blood buttons, and a matching hat, with the same button detailing for today's Scottish appearance

Her Majesty donned a lavender coat with large ox blood buttons, and a matching hat, with the same button detailing for today’s Scottish appearance

The 96-year-old, pictured at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, will be in Scotland for a week of royal events marking her Platinum Jubilee

The 96-year-old, pictured at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, will be in Scotland for a week of royal events marking her Platinum Jubilee

Despite her recent mobility issues, today her Majesty appeared sprightly

The Queen was seen standing at the event, after being spotted getting off her train by herself

Today’s ceremony, watched by the  Queen (pictured) is part of the monarch’s traditional trip to Scotland for Holyrood Week

The key to the castle was then presented to the Queen by Major General Alastair Bruce of Crionaich, governor of Edinburgh Castle, who was assisted by three service cadets at the palace’s Equerry’s Door.

The Major General addressed the Queen, saying: ‘We, the serving members of Your Majesty’s Armed Forces, bound by our oath to You, your Heirs and Successors, offer for Your gracious acceptance the Key to Your Majesty’s Royal Castle of Edinburgh.’

To which she responded: ‘I return this key to the safekeeping of My Governor of Edinburgh Castle, in gratitude for the symbolic Act of Loyalty of Our Armed Forces, confident of your faithful allegiance to your oath.’

Three cheers for the Queen were then given by members of the armed forces before a pipe tune composed for the Platinum Jubilee called Dieu Ragnari was played as she waved goodbye and returned to the palace. 

The Queen has always reportedly been very fond of Scotland, and pictures today appear to show the 96-year-old in good spirits

The Queen has always reportedly been very fond of Scotland, and pictures today appear to show the 96-year-old in good spirits

Smiling: the monarch was snapped smiling widely as she shook hands with members of the armed forces

Smiling: the monarch was snapped smiling widely as she shook hands with members of the armed forces 

Her Majesty opted for one of her signature single-colour looks, matching her lavender coat to her hat

The outfit was given a pop of colour, thanks to the ox blood button detailing that matched on her coat and hat

For the appearance, her Majesty carried her now-customary walking stick, and one of her classic black handbags, looped over her arm

During today's event, the Queen presented her Majesty's Medal for Music for the year 2021 to John Wallace CBE (pictured)

During today’s event, the Queen presented her Majesty’s Medal for Music for the year 2021 to John Wallace CBE (pictured)

The act of loyalty and presentation of the key to Edinburgh Castle marked the 200th anniversary of King George IV’s visit to Scotland in 1822.

Later on Tuesday, the Princess Royal will then present honours in an investiture ceremony at the palace.

Among those to be recognised will be James McGoldrick, the assistant general secretary of the United Nations, and Ross McEwan, the chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland.   

These celebrations come ahead of a speech planned by Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon this afternoon.

The SNP leader is expected to reveal plans to hold another independence referendum in October – which she plans to do with or without permission from Westminster.

In a statement to Holyrood today, Nicola Sturgeon is expected to lay out her plans to stage another independence referendum in October next year, with or without permission from Westminster

In a statement to Holyrood today, Nicola Sturgeon is expected to lay out her plans to stage another independence referendum in October next year, with or without permission from Westminster

Any new vote would follow 2014’s referendum, which was described as a ‘once in a generation’ event by both sides. 

However, after Scots voted in favour of staying part of the union by 55-54, Nicola Sturgeon pursued another ballot, leading to criticism that she has an ‘obsession’ with independence, and should be concentrating on the cost-of-living crisis.

But the politician is expected to argue today that her party’s victory in Holyrood elections gives her a mandate to re-run the ballot.

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