Speaking in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, Edinburgh Western MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton congratulated King Charles III and The Queen on their coronation, calling on the newly crowned monarch to “defend the values that make our country great,” including freedom of speech and transparency about our democratic institutions.
“I’ve never been entirely sure what I thought about the institution of monarchy. But Queen Elizabeth II’s steadfast devotion to the people of these islands reassured me of the value of having a steadying, politically neutral influence at the top of our system of government.
“Thanks to her, the institution of monarchy is now steeped in the tradition of public service.
“I wish King Charles III and The Queen well, and I hope in the years ahead that they will continue to defend the values that make our country great.
“Firstly, in upholding democracy and free speech. We are a country that proudly finds disagreement on almost every topic. We should never be a country which seeks to stifle either side of that disagreement, as we saw in the troubling actions of the Met Police in London on Saturday arresting republican protestors.
“Secondly, I hope the King would want people to have confidence in the transparency of his reign. At present, the Crown Consent procedure allows the monarch’s lawyers to flag concerns about legislation and request changes in secret. My party has been clear that details of these interventions should be made public. Like our other institutions, we have a right to know how legislative decisions are made. That is a cornerstone of our democracy.
“We are a quirky people, our traditions, our eccentricities and our humour are part of the rich composition that makes up the culture and identity of these islands. Saturday marked a moment in our national story, a turning of the page. I was glad to have been a tiny part of it.
“God save the King.”