The Queen is appointed to the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle

Published 16 June 2023

The Queen in Scotland

The King has been graciously pleased to appoint The Queen to the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle.

The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle represents the highest honour in Scotland.  Revived by King James VII, the Order has a complement of 16 Knights (KT).

The appointment is effective from Friday 16th June, 2023.

The Queen’s work in Scotland

Her Majesty The Queen was appointed Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen in 2013. In a speech to mark the tenth anniversary of her installation as Chancellor, Her Majesty reflected on her connections to Scotland, noting “Coming to this University, and to this city, has always felt a bit like coming home to me. Firstly, because my Father’s family came from this part of Scotland, secondly, because my husband and I are lucky enough to spend precious time each year in Aberdeenshire and finally, because ten years ago, I received the great honour of being installed as Chancellor of this very special University.”

The Queen and The Princess Royal at the University of Aberdeen

As Duchess of Rothesay, Her Majesty served as Patron of Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres, founded in Edinburgh in 1996 and now with centres across Scotland, England and Wales. The Queen has visited the Maggie’s centres in Edinburgh, Dundee, Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen.

The Queen visits Maggie's in Edinburgh

Her Majesty was also Patron or President of a number of charities based in Scotland, including Crathie Opportunity Holidays, Scotland’s Gardens Scheme and Horseback UK, as well as being an honorary member of the local Ballater Women’s Institute and the Upper Deeside Art Society.

The Queen visits Horseback UK in Aboyne

Since her marriage to The then Duke of Rothesay, Her Majesty has worked to highlight causes close to her heart in Scotland, with a particular focus on organisations that support women and victims of sexual and domestic violence, including South Ayrshire Women’s Aid and Target Ovarian Cancer.

The King and Queen in Ballater

The Queen has also championed the Arts in Scotland, visiting the Ballater Gallery, Burns Cottage in Alloway, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, the Nairn Book & Arts Festival, the inaugural Braemar Literary Festival and Peter Pan Moat Brae. She has recorded poems to mark Burns Night, has named the scenery around Lochnagar as her favourite view and in 2021 interviewed the author Douglas Stuart, the second-ever Scot to win the Booker Prize.  Her Majesty has also highlighted projects that promote children’s literacy, visiting schools across Scotland.    

The King and Queen visit Burns Cottage

Her Majesty cherishes her relationships with military units based in Scotland, including 3 Rifles and HMS Astute, and in 2017 launched HMS Prince of Wales in Rosyth Dockyard, smashing a bottle of Laphroaig whisky against the ship's hull.   

The Queen visits HMS Astute

The Queen has supported The King in visits to all corners of Scotland and joined him for many national moments including COP 26, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Opening of the Scottish Parliament.

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