Historic ceremony heralds dissolution of UK Parliament as Edinburgh prepares for polling day

Royal Proclamation
The Royal Proclamation at the Mercat Cross in Edinburgh.

Residents are being urged to make sure they have arrangements in place to vote, as a ceremony to mark the dissolution of the UK Parliament was held on Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile today (31 May).

The Royal Proclamation was given from the Mercat Cross by the Right Honourable Lord Lyon King of Arms in a ceremony, which dates back to before the Act of Union of 1707. The Proclamation acts to summon a new UK Parliament from Edinburgh ahead of the UK Parliamentary General Election on 4 July.

The Proclamation was signed by His Majesty King Charles III at a meeting of the Privy Council yesterday (30 May). The UK Parliament then automatically dissolved. 

The Lord Lyon was accompanied by the Sheriff Clerk representing the Sheriff Principal of Lothian and Borders, His Majesty’s Officers of Arms and The State Trumpeters of Scotland, alongside the Returning Officer for Edinburgh. There was also a Guard of Honour from Balaklava Company, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, and the Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland. 

Returning Officer for Edinburgh, Andrew Kerr said:

Today marks a key moment in the political calendar of the UK. As we observed this historic tradition unfold in the heart of the city, I’m conscious that in just a few short weeks residents in every corner of the Capital will be making their voices heard at the ballot box.   

We want everyone to be able to exercise their democratic right and vote in this General Election. Due to its timing, we’re expecting increased demand for postal and proxy votes and I’d encourage everyone to make the appropriate arrangements as soon as possible – whether that’s registering to vote, applying for different ways to vote or ensuring they have the correct photo ID.

I want to thank our colleagues who are working hard to ensure this election runs smoothly and efficiently for the people of Edinburgh.

Detailed advice on registering to vote, the use of postal and proxy votes and other guidance is available on the Council’s website.

This is the first General Election where voters must show a form of photo identification (ID) to cast their ballot. A list of approved forms of ID and information on how to obtain a free voter ID are also available on the website.

Today also saw the official Notice of Election published online and physically on the noticeboard outside the City Chambers. This provides key information and dates for voters and potential candidates. 

Published: May 31st 2024