A LANDMARK celebration to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the first unveiling of the Great Tapestry of Scotland will include the permanent placement of a special panel.

The “national treasure” was first exhibited at the Scottish Parliament on September 3, 2013.

On Friday a new royal panel featuring a hand-stitch by Her Majesty the Queen will be positioned in its display area.

The tapestry – housed in Galashiels – has been viewed by more than 400,000 visitors, including King Charles III and Queen Camilla during a visit to the Borders in July.

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Seeing it for the first time in its purpose-built visitor centre, Her Majesty was overheard saying the work of art was ‘absolutely wonderful’.

Centre director Sandy Maxwell-Forbes said: “Now that it has been professionally prepared, mounted and framed, we thought our anniversary weekend would be an appropriate time to officially unveil our new panel commemorating Their Majesties the King and Queen’s visit to the centre earlier this year.

“In keeping with the tapestry’s ethos of allowing people to tell their own story in their own way, we were thrilled that the King and Queen signed our commemorative certificate, which will be displayed alongside the panel, and Her Majesty added a stitch.”

As well as the placing of the royal panel, an event revealing the stories and secrets of the stitchers behind the tapestry will be held.

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The stitching groups involved were encouraged to keep diaries detailing their real, lived experiences of the creation of the ambitious project.

It is part of Doors Open Days, Scotland’s largest free festival.

Coordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust, it sees venues across the country open to the public.

Ms Maxwell-Forbes added: “The Great Tapestry of Scotland is an important national treasure, which tells a visually compelling account of the people’s story of Scotland.

“Historically we never knew who had embroidered tapestries like the Bayeux Tapestry, however through our dedicated visitor centre the stitchers’ names, artistry, and stories will be preserved for many generations to come.

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“For the Great Tapestry of Scotland’s 10th anniversary, we are celebrating this wonderful community storytelling through a number of events and activities.

“As part of the national Doors Open Days festival we will be giving a select number of visitors an exclusive free opportunity to read the diaries of the tapestry’s core stitchers, which reveal some of the secrets behind its creation.

“They are gripping – full of intrigue and fascinating facts, which give a rich insight into the incredible skill, passion and thorough research that went into the tapestry’s production, and the friendships that were formed as a result.”

Stitcher coordinator Dorie Wilkie added: “What an amazing opportunity the Great Tapestry of Scotland provided us with – uniting stitchers and makers from all over Scotland and evoking a great sense of camaraderie.

"Once we saw it hanging in Holyrood for that first time, we realised we had all participated in something truly special and we were very proud to have been part of the venture. This is very much reflected in our diaries.

 “Now, 10 years later, we are delighted we can share our skills with visitors to the gallery from around the world. It is so rewarding to hear them sharing their views and saying they will recommend others to come and see our legacy!”

On Sunday visitors will be afforded the opportunity to add their own embroidered patch to the Coat of Hopes.

It is a patchwork pilgrim coat on an ongoing walk through Britain.