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Scotland 2021 in Pictures: Cop26, Covid-19 and flying canines

It was an incredible year in Scotland, as the world’s focus fell on Glasgow during the Cop26 climate summit as the country battled Covid.

Here are a selection of some of the most arresting images of the year.

The Scottish Parliamentary Election in May saw some familiar faces come and go.

Scottish Parliamentary Election 2021Alba Party leader Alex Salmond during a visit to the Scotsman Lounge in Edinburgh on the campaign trail. Alba failed to take a seat at Holyrood (Jane Barlow/PA)
Freedom Alliance candidateA Freedom Alliance candidate at the count at Ingliston Highland Centre (Lesley Martin/PA)
Scottish Parliamentary Elections 2021Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie handles a six-week-old badger during a visit to the SSPCA National Wildlife Rescue Centre at Fishcross near Alloa. Mr Rennie stood down as leader this year (Jane Barlow/PA)

The Covid-19 pandemic was an ever-present shadow over 2021.

Coronavirus – Mon Dec 20, 2021People queue along Junction Place, Edinburgh, for the vaccination centre at the NHS Scotland Leith Community Treatment Centre, as the coronavirus booster vaccination programme is ramped up (Jane Barlow/PA)
Boris Johnson visit to ScotlandPrime Minister Boris Johnson with quality control technician Kerri Symington as he visits the French biotechnology laboratory Valneva in Livingston in January (Wattie Cheung/Daily Mail/PA)
Coronavirus – Sat May 29, 2021Swimmers at the Stonehaven Open Air Pool in Aberdeenshire, after lockdown restrictions were eased (Jane Barlow/PA)

Glasgow hosted the Cop26 climate conference, with politicians, protesters and activists all receiving a warm welcome.

Cop26 protestersExtinction Rebellion Red Rebels during the official final day of the summit (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Greta ThunbergGreta Thunberg alongside fellow climate activists during a demonstration at Festival Park on the first day of the summit (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Mid-summer ski, GlencoeJoyce Paton, from Peterhead, on one of the remaining snow patches on Meall a’Bhuiridh in Glencoe during the Midsummer Ski event near the summer solstice (Jane Barlow/PA)

Community spirit was always close to hand when truly needed…

Glasgow immigration protestOne of two men are released from the back of an Immigration Enforcement van accompanied by Mohammad Asif, director of the Afghan Human Rights Foundation, in Kenmure Street, Glasgow, following mass protests (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Cop26 – GlasgowPc Lee Judge with Atla the dog as Police Scotland’s dog unit train at the Police Scotland Dog Unit, Pollok Country Park (Jane Barlow/PA)

The highs and lows continued in the sporting spectrum.

Fans watch Croatia v ScotlandIt was a disappointing Euro 2020 for Scotland fans – but a great achievement for the men’s team to qualify for the first international tournament since France 98. There is a play-off opportunity as Steve Clarke’s side bids to reach the Qatar World Cup (Ian Rutherford/PA)
Rangers v Aberdeen – Scottish Premiership – Ibrox StadiumRangers fans celebrate winning the Scottish Premiership in George Square, Glasgow (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Walter Smith memorialRangers players attend the memorial service for the late Walter Smith at Glasgow Cathedral (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Queen and her family took some solace in a return to the familiar sites and sounds of Scotland after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Queen visits Scotland for Holyrood WeekThe Queen unveils a plaque during a visit to AG Barr’s factory in Cumbernauld, where the Irn-Bru drink is manufactured, as part of her traditional trip to Scotland for Holyrood Week in June (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tour of ScotlandThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watch Highland dancers perform at the Beating of the Retreat at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA)

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