LONDON – King Charles III and his wife Camilla, the queen consort, visited Scotland Monday in their first joint public engagement since the royal mourning period to remember Queen Elizabeth II ended.
Hundreds turned out on the streets of Dunfermline in Fife, north of Edinburgh, hoping to get a glimpse of the new monarch. Charles, who wore a kilt for the visit and spent time shaking hands with well-wishers after he greeted Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and other leaders.
The royal couple were visiting to formally give city status to Dunfermline, the birthplace of another King Charles: Charles I, who reigned in the 17th century before his execution, was the last British monarch born in Scotland.
Dunfermline was among eight towns that won city status as part of Platinum Jubilee celebrations earlier this year to mark Elizabeth's 70 years on the throne.
“There could be no more fitting way to mark my beloved mother’s extraordinary life of service than by granting this honor to a place made famous by its own long and distinguished history, and by the indispensable role it has played in the life of our country,” Charles said in a speech.
“We gather to celebrate this great occasion but also to commemorate the life of Her late Majesty, whose deep love for Scotland was one of the foundations of her life," he added.
Later Monday, Charles and Camilla will host a reception for around 300 guests at Edinburgh to celebrate the British South Asian community. The royals will meet British Indians, Pakistanis, and many others and pay tribute to the contributions they made to the U.K.
Charles, 73, became sovereign immediately upon the death of his mother Elizabeth in Balmoral Castle, Scotland, on Sept. 8. Britain held 10 days of national mourning, while the royal family extended the mourning period for a week after the queen’s funeral on Sept. 19.