IN the words of the newly-installed Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, two thousand Scottish hearts had “fair stouned” with pride, loyalty and love when the Queen entered the Assembly Hall. (“Stouned”, this paper advised readers, is an old Scots word meaning “throbbed mightily”).

The Right Rev John R. Gray, of Dunblane Cathedral, went on to say that if the example the Queen had set had been followed by all her subjects, Great Britain would have been raised to a greatness perhaps greater than ever before.

The Queen, who was celebrating her Silver Jubilee, received not just the warm tributes from the retiring and new Moderators, but also an “unexpected” standing ovation by the Commissioners when she arrived in the hall from St Giles’, where she had attended divine service..

The Right Rev. Professor Thomas Torrance, the retiring Moderator, declared that “our beloved Queen gracing this Assembly so early in her Jubilee celebrations is a supreme honour”.

He also praised the Duke of Edinburgh, who was standing by his wife’s side, saying that throughout the Queen’s reign he had contributed immeasurably to the throne and the nation through his superb leadership and penetrating insight into human affairs - “a man among men, for whom we have deep admiration and affection”.

The Queen, in her speech, said she was reminded of her previous visits to the Assembly, in 1960 and 1969. The memory of the welcomes she had received then made her resolve to be in Edinburgh during her Silver Jubilee year.

“For the people of this country, which has achieved so much”, she went on, “there remains a powerful underlying sense of community and of direct links with generations past and still to come.

“In this fast-changing temporal world, it is the task of the Church, by fresh inspiration and new understanding, to awaken and renew this sense of common stewardship.

“Over the centuries, perhaps the greatest moments in the history of our country have been in times of great adversity when the nation has stood alone, when we have been faced by the threat of more powerful material forces, but have been sustained by the strength of our own moral and spiritual conviction.

“Under God’s will, we can still achieve that truer greatness in our own generation. For it is part of the Christian message that ‘time and chance happeneth to all men’.”

Outside the Assembly Hall, the monarch was saluted (above) by members of the Royal Company of Archers. The Glasgow Herald noted that the archer on the right was saluting with his left arm, “presumably because he had forgotten to transfer his bow from his right hand, as is the custom”.

Read more: Herald Diary