Prince receives highest Scots honour
The First Minister Alex Salmond has today praised the hard work and dedication of Prince William, the Earl of Strathearn, as he was installed as a Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle – Scotland’s highest honour – by the Queen.
The First Minister said:
“Scotland has always had a special relationship with Prince William and therefore it is fitting that he should receive the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle which represents the nation’s highest honour.
“This magnificent ceremony in the Thistle Chapel in St Giles is one of the many highlights of a particularly busy Royal Week this year when we can pay tribute to our Queen of Scots and the Royal Family. I believe the whole nation will join with me in offering our congratulations on this special occasion for the Earl of Strathearn.”
The service at St Giles was followed by a spectacular celebration of pipe music, drumming and dancing on the Royal Mile to mark the Queen’s visit to Scotland during the Diamond Jubilee year.
Pipe bands, dancers and drummers from community groups across Scotland were led down the Royal Mile to the Scottish Parliament for a spectacular finale to the day.
Considered to be rooted in the Middle Ages, the present-day order was revived by King James VII in 1687. The Order has 16 Knights and is traditionally given to Scots or people of Scots ancestry who have given distinguished service. Appointments are entirely in the gift of the Sovereign.
In 1987, the Queen decided that women should be eligible for the Thistle in the same way as men.