KING Charles III has paraphrased Robert Burns during an address to the Scottish Parliament.

Following a special Motion of Condolence at Holyrood, where the leaders of the parties shared their memories of the Queen, the King used the Burns poem Epitaph on my own Friend to illustrate his mother’s life of service.

He said: “If I might paraphrase the words of the great Robert Burns, my dear mother was ‘the friend of man, the friend of truth, the friend of age and guide of youth. Few hearts like her’s with virtue warmed, few heads with knowledge so informed.'”

The poem is a mock epitaph for William Muir, a miller in Tarbolton who was a good friend of the Burns family.

Muir took in Burns’ wife, Jean Armour, after Burns got her pregnant and she was thrown out by her family.

The new King then passed on his Scottish titles, including the Duke of Rothesay, on to his son Prince William.

Earlier, Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone conveyed the “sincere condolences” of the Scottish Parliament to the new King and the rest of the royal family.

Parliament then observed a two-minute silence in memory of the Queen.

During the condolences First Minister Nicola Sturgeon shared her memories of the Queen as a young girl.

She said: “I was nine years old when I first saw the Queen. She visited Irvine, my hometown, in July 1979 to open the Magnum Leisure Centre.

“I was one of hundreds lining the streets with my mum and by luck we ended up close to her car as it passed by. Nine-year-old me was absolutely convinced I had caught her eye.

“That nine-year-old girl could not have imagined more than 35 years later being in the front passenger seat of another car this time with the Queen at the wheel driving through the Balmoral estate.”

The National: The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with King Charles IIIThe First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with King Charles III (Image: Peter Byrne)

The First Minister then told a story of how her husband stopped one of the Queen’s corgis chewing through a lamp switch in the drawing room of Balmoral.

However, she said the memory she cherished most was of a journey from Edinburgh to Tweedbank she shared with the Queen and Prince Phillip after the opening of the Borders Railway. 

It fell on the day the Queen became the longest reigning monarch.

“Allowing me to observe closely how quietly reflective she was about that historic milestone,” she said. “It was one of the great privileges of my life.”

The leader of the Scottish Labour party, Anas Sarwar, said that the Queen’s impact reached across generations.

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“I returned home on Thursday to a crying 6-year-old who said he was sad because he will never get to meet the Queen.” he said. 

Patrick Harvie, co-leader of the Scottish Greens, added that during the Queen’s reign society had witnessed transformational changes.

“Now we can look back and celebrate extraordinary progressive change even as we must continue to defend what has been achieved.

“In truth, the tide of progress cannot be halted. It feels slow as we live it day by day but in time it is dramatic.

“So, as Charles the Third begins his reign let us hope, indeed re-double our determination, that he will have the opportunity to witness change just as transformational and more. It is still needed.”