Nicola Sturgeon reads first lesson of Ecclesiastes during thanksgiving service for Queen Elizabeth II

The service was also attended by the King and the Queen Consort, Princess Royal, Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex

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Nicola Sturgeon has read the first lesson of Ecclesiastes 3: 1–15 during a service of thanksgiving for Queen Elizabeth II.

Before the service, King Charles III led a procession to Edinburgh’s St Giles’ Cathedral behind Queen Elizabeth’s coffin which was draped with Royal Standard in Scotland and dressed with a wreath of flowers.

Thousands lined the streets and applauded as the Queen was taken from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to the cathedral where her family, and a congregation drawn from all areas of Scottish society, attended a service of thanksgiving for her life.

The coffin arrived at St Giles’ Cathedral, with the service attended by the King and the Queen Consort, Princess Royal, Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon

During the service, the first Minister of Scotland, dressed in an all black outfit and black hat, said: “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.

“A time to be born and a time to die.

“A time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal, a title to break down and a time to heal.

“A time to break down and a time to build up, a time to weep and a time to laugh.

“A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones together.

“A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing. A time to seek and a time to lose.

Queen Elizabeth II's coffin arriving at St Giles’ Cathedral
Queen Elizabeth II's coffin arriving at St Giles’ Cathedral

“A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to sow.

“A time to keep silence and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.

“What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with.

“He has made everything suitable for its time.

“Moreover, he has a sense of past and future in their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

“I know that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live;

“Moreover, it is god’s gift that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil.

“I know that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done this so that all should stand in awe before him.

“That which is already has been; that which is to be, already is; and God seeks what has gone by.”

Speaking on Sunday, Ms Sturgeon spoke of the “sad and poignant moment” as Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin travelled from Balmoral to Edinburgh.

In a tweet, Ms Sturgeon said: “A sad and poignant moment as Her Majesty, The Queen leaves her beloved Balmoral for the final time.

“Today, as she makes her journey to Edinburgh, Scotland will pay tribute to an extraordinary woman.”