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The Queen

Brian Taylor | 15:12 UK time, Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Took a stroll through the Main Hall at Parliament.

Just the usual scene. Reception staff. MSPs meeting constituents. Face painting. Clowns.

Truly, it was a splendid sight, all those children born on the 1st of July 1999, eagerly
thronging their Parliament.

The announcement system which usually signals tedious things like fire alarms and votes on legislation was deployed to advise kids where to go for the official photograph.

And to mop up the odd stray.

The official ceremony to mark ten years of devolution was fine and dandy. The Queen exhorted the Scottish Parliamentarians to strive for a better Scotland in the decades ahead.

This is her sixth visit to the Scottish Parliament, the third to the Holyrood building.

The First Minister delivered a notably inclusive speech in which he stressed that, although there were fundamental differences between the parties in the chamber, they were each motivated by what they believed to be Scotland's best interests.

OK, there's a bit of controversy about the relative paucity of MSPs in the chamber to hear Her Majesty and the FM.

Apparently, 84 had registered to attend - out of a total of 129. Constituency engagements, official business and pre-booked holidays claimed the rest.

Should there have been more there? Perhaps.

Will we remember this fact in ten years time? No, not in ten days.

I will, however, remember the eager anarchy of the July 1 offspring.

C,mon mum, let's join the queue to get a balloon. Aw, dad, everybody else has had their face painted.

Well done, them. And well done to the Parliamentary staff who contrived to attract to Holyrood 143 out of the 163 children born in Scotland ten years ago to the day.


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