King Charles III holds first audience with Nicola Sturgeon at Palace of Holyroodhouse

The pair could be seen shaking hands before sitting down at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

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King Charles III has held his first audience with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Pictures show the pair shaking hands, before sitting down to talk.

The meeting came before the King and Camilla, Queen Consort visited the Scottish Parliament.

Responding to a motion of condolence tabled as the Scottish Parliament, the King paid tribute to his late mother, who he said he was “determined” to emulate in her service to the country.

King Charles III and Nicola Sturgeon
King Charles III and Nicola Sturgeon

Addressing assembled MSPs, former first ministers, presiding officers and leading figures from Scottish civil society, the new King quoted from the famed Scottish poet as he praised his mother’s life of “incomparable service”.

“If I might paraphrase the words of the great Robert Burns, my dear mother was the friend of man, the friend of truth, the friend of age and guide of youth,” he said.

“Few hearts like her with virtue warmed, few heads with knowledge so informed.”

The quote was taken from Burns’ Epitaph On My Own Friend.

The King and Ms Sturgeon shook hands during the meeting
The King and Ms Sturgeon shook hands during the meeting

The King added: “While still very young, the Queen pledged herself to serve her country and her people and to maintain the principles of constitutional government.

“As we now mark with gratitude a promise most faithfully fulfilled, I am determined with God’s help and with yours to follow that inspiring example.”

Ms Sturgeon tabled the motion of condolence and described the late monarch in her speech as the “anchor of our nation”.

“In an ever changing and often turbulent world, Her Majesty has been our constant,” the First Minister said.

Ms Sturgeon also assured the new King he would have the support of Scotland in carrying on the legacy of his mother.

“Scotland “stands ready” to support King Charles III as he continues his mother’s legacy of public service, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

“We are honoured by the presence today of His Majesty, King Charles III, and the Queen Consort,” she said.

“Your Majesty, we stand ready to support you, as you continue your own life of service – and as you build on the extraordinary legacy of your beloved mother, our Queen.

“Queen Elizabeth, Queen of Scots – we are grateful for her life.

“May she now rest in peace."