Official present from the people of Scotland.
A bench hand crafted from a single piece of Clashach stone from Moray has been presented to Her Majesty The Queen to mark her 90th birthday.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will present the gift, carved with a rose, Lion Rampant and stag’s head motifs, on behalf of the people of Scotland during Royal week in Scotland.
The bench was designed by Historic Environment Scotland and crafted by Modern Apprentice stonemasons based in Elgin, while the timber seating slats are made from elm timber from HM’s garden at The Palace of Holyroodhouse were carved by joiners at Holyrood.
Ms Sturgeon said:
“On behalf of the people of Scotland I would like to personally send our warm wishes to Her Majesty The Queen on her 90th birthday.
“Last year we were fortunate to be able to celebrate with Her Majesty as she became the United Kingdom and Commonwealth longest serving monarch.
“It was an incredible day and it was clear the huge affection Her Majesty had for Scotland and the tremendous bond she has forged with people across our country over her many years of dedicated public service.
“Our present was specially designed with Her Majesty in mind and each carved element required many hours of focused concentration and advanced stonemasonry skills. I am thrilled that Charlotte, our own Modern Apprentice has had this amazing opportunity to showcase her talent and skills that she has gained whilst at Historic Environment Scotland.
“The timber used in the seating slats came from the felled elm tree that was planted at Holyroodhouse under the direction of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria.
“I would like to join the thousands of people across the country toasting Her Majesty as her birthday celebrations continue during her annual visit during Royal Week in Scotland.”
David Storrar, Edinburgh’s Head of Conservation for Historic Environment Scotland said:
“It was a huge privilege to be asked to help with making a gift on behalf of Scotland to Her Majesty, and our staff were very excited to be involved. Historic Environment Scotland is very fortunate to have the in house skillset from across Scotland to produce this gift, from initial design at our Edinburgh headquarters, to stonemasonry works at our Elgin Conservation Centre, and the timber seating top made at our St Anne’s Malting’s workshops beside Holyrood Palace.
"It was a real team effort and we’re delighted with the final product.”
Charlotte Brough, 2nd Year Stonemason Modern Apprentice with Historic Environment Scotland, added:
"I was very honoured to be asked to do the cavetto surrounding the lettering on the bench, and also quite nervous knowing it would be presented to the Queen.
“Working a small moulding in Clashach and working on a stone at the same time as someone else were both new experiences for me. It was a new and unique experience which has taught me a lot about my own skills and how I can cope under pressure and I’m really pleased with the result."
Design by David Storrar, Architect and HES Head of Conservation, Longmore House Edinburgh
Masonry works by Graham Campbell, Stonemason / Training Manager, Elgin Conservation Centre, Mark Macarthur, Stonemason, Elgin Cathedral monument conservation unit, Charlotte Brough, 2nd year Modern Apprentice Stonemason, Kildrummy depot
Carpentry by Clarke Tait and Hannah Ross joiners, St Anne’s Malting’s Depot, Holyrood
The bench is approximately 1450mm long and weighs approximately 600 kilogrammes- around 2/3 of a tonne.