King Charles has begun his official stay in Scotland by receiving the keys to the City of Edinburgh.

The Ceremony of the Keys took place in the garden of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which is the King’s official residence in the Scottish capital and an annual event during his week long stay in the country.

Lord Provost Robert Aldridge was on hand to welcome Charles to the city and presented the keys on a red velvet cushion.

Mr Aldridge told the King, after he arrived by helicopter with the Queen: “We, the Lord Provost and members of the City of Edinburgh Council, welcome Your Majesty to the capital city of your ancient and hereditary kingdom of Scotland and offer for your gracious acceptance the keys of Your Majesty’s good City of Edinburgh.”

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Charles gave the traditional reply: “I return these keys perfectly convinced that they cannot be placed in better hands than those of the Lord Provost and councillors of my good City of Edinburgh.”

It’s a yearly tradition for the UK monarch to spend a week based at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and is known as Holyrood Week or Royal Week in Scotland.

It has been shortened this year because of the General Election with the Royal Family postponing any engagement ‘which may appear to divert attention or distract from the election campaign’.

A parade ground was formed in the palace garden’s before the ceremony where senior military and uniformed figures such as the Chief Constable of Police Scotland, Jo Farrell, met with with the King. There was also a royal salute and he inspected a Guard of Honour of soldiers from Balaklava Company, 5 Scots.

King Charles is in EdinburghKing Charles is in Edinburgh (Image: PA)

Also lined up were the Royal Company of Archers, who serve as the sovereign’s ceremonial bodyguard for Scotland – a role first created in 1822 for King George VI.

The Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Pipes and Drums of 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland were on parade for the occasion.

The King walked past the Guard of Honour, casting his eye over the servicemen and stopping to talk to some of them, and he also chatted to members of the military bands.