Queen speaks publicly about Philip for first time since his death as she opens Scottish Parliament

Hear the Queen remember Prince Philip as ITV News' Sam Holder reports on the opening of Parliament

The Queen has spoken publicly about her late husband the Duke of Edinburgh for the first time since his death in April, recalling "many happy memories" spent with him in Scotland.

As she opened the new session at the Scottish Parliament, the monarch told MSPs: "I have spoken before of my deep and abiding affection for this wonderful country, and of the many happy memories Prince Philip and I always held of our time here."

The 95-year-old has been on her annual break at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, the first she's faced alone without Prince Philip.

Speaking in Holyrood the monarch said: "It is often said that it is the people that make a place, and there are few places where this is truer than in Scotland, as we have seen in recent times."

Responding to the Queen’s speech, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon offered the parliament’s “deep sympathy and shared sorrow at your loss” and thanked her for being a “steadfast friend of our Parliament since its establishment in 1999”.

The Royal Rota - Listen to the latest episode

Why was the Queen in Holyrood?

Saturday's ceremony marked the opening of the new session of the Scottish Parliament.

The Queen arrived to cheering crowds and bagpipes before meeting with party and parliamentary leaders in the garden lobby ahead of the ceremony in the debating chamber.

The royal mace and the Crown of Scotland were carried in to sit at the front of the chamber before proceedings got underway.

The Queen was greeted by crowds as she arrived at Holyrood

Accompanied by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall (known as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland) the monarch delivered her speech.

In it she said "the beginning of a new session is a time for renewal and fresh thinking" urging politicians to "look to the future and our future generations."

The 95-year-old said she would be attending the COP26 events in Glasgow next month and stressed: "The eyes of the world will be on the United Kingdom - and Scotland in particular - as leaders come together to address the challenges of climate change."

After the ceremony, the Queen, Charles and Camilla went to meet Scots who have been recognised for their contribution to communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.