An Aberdeen minister has said he was “delighted” after being chosen by the Queen to be one of her personal chaplains.
Reverend George Cowie, of South Holburn Church, was appointed by the Queen a couple of weeks ago to what is a largely ceremonial role.
His appointment will change little in the day-to-day life of Rev Cowie, but he will take part in formal state occasions and conduct services at significant national events.
The 53-year-old will become one of the 10 Chaplains to the Queen in Scotland, who hold office until the age of 70.
Rev Cowie said: “I have known for a couple of weeks but I haven’t been able to tell anyone until now.
“A letter came to my house marked Buckingham Palace so I was quite intrigued to find out what it was.
“After I opened it and saw what was inside it completely knocked me off my feet. I’m absolutely delighted.”
Rev Cowie, who is married to Rev Marian Cowie with whom he has two children, Graeme and Kay, has served parishes in Aberdeen since 1999.
He is a former Joint Clerk of the Presbytery of Aberdeen and was acting Depute Clerk for the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2014 and 2015.
He is currently the convener of the Church of Scotland’s Legal Questions Committee.
He believes he was picked by the Queen after conducting a service at Crathie Kirk, near Balmoral Castle.
“I was asked to do a service at Crathie over a year ago now,” he said.
“I was able to meet the Queen then, which was a privilege.
“My appointment has taken effect already, but there will be a formal service organised for later this year.
The Very Reverend Professor Iain Torrance, Dean of the Chapel Royal in Scotland, said: “I am truly delighted that The Queen has appointed George Cowie to this trusted role.
“He was a Clerk to the Presbytery of Aberdeen when it was going through a difficult time.
“George’s fairness, integrity and pastoral commitment shone through. He is respected throughout the church and I am delighted to see him recognised and honoured by the Queen.”