Humza Yousaf was the only party leader not to say “God save the King” during a Holyrood debate on the Coronation today, despite leading the occasion.

The First Minister praised the monarch’s public service during the session, particularly the achievements of the Prince’s Trust, and noted the goodwill felt towards him.

However Mr Yousaf, a republican who attended Saturday’s Coronation of King Charles III on behalf of Scotland, chose not to say the traditional phrase of support. 

During six minutes of the 20-minute session, Mr Yousaf spoke to the unopposed motion: "That the Parliament congratulates Their Majesties The King and The Queen on the occasion of Their Coronation; expresses its gratitude for Their Majesties’ public service to Scotland, and affirms the deep respect that is held for Their Majesties in Scotland."

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Mr Yousaf said: “There are, of course, varied views about the monarchy in Scotland.

“However what is indisputable is the incredible work that the Prince’s Trust has done with young people over many years right across the UK, including here in Scotland too.”

“Its work is an important and enduring aspect of His Majesty’s contribution to our society.”

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He said the King had also “been there for us when Scotland has faced dark times" in the aftermaths of Piper Alpha, the Lockerbie bombing and the Clutha helicopter crash”.

The King had also launched the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival and attended COP26, Mr Yousaf said.

Concluding, he said: “It continues to be the case that there are different views in this chamber, right across the country, about the institution of the monarchy .

“But the commitment His Majesty has made to serve the people is one which we all share.

“And whatever our constitutional views are, I think it’s right this parliament marks this moment by wishing them well.

“In doing so, we congratulate Their Majesties King Charles and Queen Camilla on their Coronation and we thank them for their continuing service to Scotland, and we commit ourselves to working with them, helping them, in discharging the great responsibilities that they hold.

"Presiding Office, I move the motion in my name.” 

The three other party leaders who spoke had also attended the Coronation in Westminster Abbey.

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Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross ended his speech: “I close by repeating the words that we as a congregation said on Saturday: Long live King Charles,God save the King.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar ended his: “I wish the King and Queen a long and happy reign. God save the King.”

And Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton, who raised the Met police’s arrest of republican protesters on Saturday, said: “Saturday marked a moment in our national story, a turning of the page, and I was very glad to have been a tiny part of that. God save the King.”

The Scottish Greens, the most vocally republican party at Holyrood, did not participate.

Asked afterwards why he didn’t say God save the King, Mr Yousaf nipped into a ministerial lift and said he’d said it during Saturday’s service.