Since the advent of devolution, this event has been recreated with each new Parliament after each election. All members of the Scottish Parliament are invited to attend to be in the presence of the Queen as she addresses the assembled parliamentarians.
I was not amongst those parliamentarians present today.
It would be disingenuous to suggest that I was not there solely because I had an appointment in the constituency I represent. That was certainly part of it, but I must admit that the fact that I believe in an elected head of state was part of my rationale as well.
Before I left the house to attend the event in Cumbernauld I went to, I did manage to catch some of the proceedings on television. I thought Alex Salmond gave an excellent speech before Parliament setting out the SNP government's position.
I see some of my Parliamentary colleagues from the Labour benches have been upset by Alex's words. They seem perturbed by the fact that he pointed out that the SNP government favours independence.
Wouldn't it have seem rather odd had Alex Salmond omitted that fact? Indeed, wouldn't it have seemed just about as disingenuous if he had done so as if I had pretended that the only reason I wasn't in Edinburgh today was because of the event in Cumbernauld.
Anyway, that brings me onto that event. It was a Highland Dancing competition at Cumbernauld High School (photo below shows the participants along with myself and some of the Cumbernauld councillors) and I was very privileged to be asked to dole out prizes to the participants. The kids taking part were fantastic and I was very glad to be with them today.