Freedom of South Lanarkshire granted for the first time

Published: Thursday 1 June 2023

This image shows Prince Charles at the ceremony of keys with the Royal Regiment of Scotland  (SCOTS)

An historic event has been arranged to grant the Freedom of South Lanarkshire to the Royal Regiment of Scotland (SCOTS).

They are the first organisation to have the award bestowed on behalf of the area by the council.

On Saturday 17 June from 11am, there will be a parade by the Royal Regiment of Scotland (SCOTS) along Beckford Street, down Almada Street, along Bothwell Road and then culminating back at Beckford Street.

There will be a pause as the parade first passes by the council HQ in Almada Street, at which point there will be a short welcome by Provost Margaret Cooper.

A service by Reverend Blackman and flag raising ahead of Armed Forces Day, which takes place the following week, will then take place, followed by a two-minute silence and the National Anthem.

Speeches will then be made by the Lord Lieutenant for Lanarkshire Lady Susan Haughey, the Rt Hon Adam Ingram and Provost Cooper.

There will also be a short speech by sculptor John McKenna, who will hand over a limited edition portrait of the Bronze Head of King he is working on, which will be handed over at a later date.

Provost Cooper will then hand over a special scroll containing the Freedom of South Lanarkshire document to Major General James Roddis from the Royal Regiment of Scotland (SCOTS).

There will be an opportunity for anyone who comes along to have a look at the Armed Forces Day stalls.

Provost Cooper said: “I hope as many people as possible from across South Lanarkshire can come along to see this historic occasion.

“It is the first time the Freedom of South Lanarkshire has been awarded, and I can’t think of a more deserving recipient than the Royal Regiment of Scotland (SCOTS).

“They will be parading through the streets with their bayonets fixed, drums beating and pipes playing.

“It will be an amazing sight to see, and one I am sure communities across the area will not want to miss.”

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Jonathan Tink – Regimental Secretary RHQ SCOTS, said: “The Royal Regiment of Scotland (SCOTS) is the senior line infantry of the British Army.  It was formed on 28 March 2006 and founded on the fighting heritage of historic Scottish Infantry Regiments.

“Today, the Royal Regiment of Scotland consists of three regular battalions, an incremental company and two reserve battalions.

“The SCOTS recruit nationally and have links dating back to the Cameronians, originally from South Lanarkshire.

“It is a great honour to be granted the Freedom of any local authority – where the Regiment can honour their forebearers with pride.”

The historical regiments of the Royal Regiment of Scotland (SCOTS) were Royal Scots, Royal Highland Fusiliers, Kings Own Scottish Borderers, Black Watch, The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons), The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 2/51 Lowland Volunteers and 2/51 Highland Volunteers.