Earl & Countess of Wessex attend first day of the General Assembly

As you all know from my previous post (here), Earl & Countess of Wessex, styled as Their Royal Graces, are currently in Edinburgh, Scotland for the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. You can find live feed here. Today, The Royal Couple stayed throughout the opening of the General Assembly, where they saw election of the new moderator: The Right Rev John Chalmers received the millennium cross and ring from Very Rev Lorna Hood as he was installed as the 86th Moderator of the modern era.

© Derek Fett, Fett Images, kindly provided by Life and Work, magazine of the Church of Scotland

They have heard readings of the Commission to His Grace the Lord High Commissioner, as well as Her Majesty’s Letter, (both readings have been recorded via HM’s order). Quote from HM’s letter: “As We are unable in Our Own Person to be present at your Assembly this year, We have chosen Our most dearly beloved Son His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Viscount Severn to be Our representative being assured that Our choice will meet with your approval.” You can read HM Queen’s letter here.

Screen cap from live feed; click on pic to view video.

Afterwords, His Grace Prince Edward opened the General Assembly with a speech mixed with humour and serious sentiment. “Community is about looking out for each other, but how can we do this as many of our communities become larger and less personal. The state has developed all sorts of ways and means and we have devised ever more sophisticated legal systems and processes, but in doing so are we creating a more harmonious society? In my mind there is a significant difference between the assertion of legalistic rights versus the Christian teaching of responsibility.” Read more here.

Screen cap from live feed

I also liked that both Prince Edward & moderator the Right Rev John Chalmers rised a problem with our society and social media. Prince Edward recalled his trip to Grenade after serious hurricanes hit the island. He remembered what was said to him: when people were out of power, they all came outside, they talked to neighbours, helped each other, shared food, but after the power was restored they all got back to normal lives, behind closed doors… There is a similarity with social media, while it should be getting us closer together, it is actually making us more distant. We all look in our phones, computers, we comunicate with short messages, but we no longer talk with each other eye to eye… There is a truth to that. I remember times when I was younger, had no access to internet or social media, but I had friends and was spending as much time with them as I could. Now, it’s way harder to meet in person, everyone is busy with their own lives. Full opening address can be read here.

© courtesy of Kaushik Poddar via Twitter

Report on the 1st day of the Assembly via Life and Work magazine here. Church of Scotland article here. Amazing gallery here! After the first part of today’s Assembly the royal couple left. The Earl and Countess of Wessex in the afternoon gave a Lunch at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Screen cap from live feed, click on pic to view video

They have returned for a part of an evening session at 7 pm. They have heard address by Retiring Moderator Very Rev Lorna Hood, sadly all I have is this, camera was concentrating on everyone else except for the royal couple. Countess wore a new black blouse with a white pearl collar. They’ve left earlier as Their Royal Highnesses this evening gave a Dinner at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Outfit & jewellery:
Jacket & dress by Bruce Oldfield, first seen at Zara Philips’ wedding in 2011, in Edinburgh, Scotland.
New hat by Jane Taylor Millinery.
Clutch by Sophie Habsburg Design, Paola, coral from ss14.
Jimmy Choo Agnes pumps.
Amrapali diamond earrings.
Jaeger LeCoultre “Reverso Classique” watch.  

In the evening HRH has changed her dress for an elegant sweater.
Simone Rocha: Black Pearl Embellished Jumper.

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