Ahead of the 2020 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in May, The Duke of Cambridge has been appointed the Lord High Commissioner.
The Earl of Strathearn, as Prince William is known in Scotland, will take the ceremonial role of Lord High Commissioner, acting as the Monarch’s personal representative to the annual General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
The General Assembly week takes place from 16-22 of May 2020, and acts as the highest court of the Church of Scotland and its governing body. The assembly, usually held in Edinburgh, decides upon the Law of the Church, and debates to determine the future of the organisation.
William’s role means he will make the opening and closing addresses to the Assembly, as well as carrying out official visits across Scotland. It is a ceremonial position, that does not carry a vote, nor can the Lord High Commissioner intervene in debates.
The future King’s place at the religious gathering reflects The Queen’s role as protector of the Kirk, which is distinct from the role she holds in England as Head of the Church.
Princess Anne served in the role in 2017, and the appointment is given to a Scottish figure, who has made great contributions, or a member of the Royal Family. 2019 saw The Duke of Buccleuch attended the General Assembly as the Lord High Commissioner, a role he undertook for the second time.
The Queen made it to the General Assembly in person in both 1969 and 2002, the latter being the year of her Golden Jubilee.
Rev Dr George Whyte, the Principal Clerk of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland said: “We are honoured that her Majesty has appointed Prince William as Lord High Commissioner.
“We look forward to welcoming His Royal Highness to the General Assembly.”