King Charles III Honors Prince Edward with Prestigious Award for 60th Birthday

Monarch Celebrates Tradition with Prestigious Scottish Honors Ceremony.

by Nouman Rasool
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King Charles III Honors Prince Edward with Prestigious Award for 60th Birthday
© Carl Court/Getty Images

In a grand gesture that underscores the deep bonds of royal tradition and familial ties, King Charles III bestowed the prestigious Order of the Thistle upon his younger sibling, Prince Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh, as a noble tribute on the occasion of the prince's landmark 60th birthday this Sunday, March 10.

This distinguished accolade, Scotland's most exalted royal honor, echoes the nation's reverence for the thistle, its emblematic national flower, symbolizing the deep-rooted cultural heritage and valor of Scotland. The Order of the Thistle represents a time-honored tradition, celebrating a select group of 16 eminent Scots for their remarkable contributions, alongside royal family members as chosen by the reigning monarch.

In a gesture that reinforces the royal family's commitment to honoring exemplary service and dedication, King Charles previously extended this honor to Queen Camilla last year. Additionally, marking Prince Edward's 59th birthday, he was granted the title of Duke of Edinburgh, a poignant homage to their father, Prince Philip, and his enduring legacy.

Established formally in 1687 by King James VII of Scotland (also King James II of England), the Order of the Thistle's origins are steeped in legend and lore, tracing back to an informal inception in 809 under King Achaius of Scots' rule.

This illustrious order serves as a testament to Scotland's storied past and its leaders' commitment to recognizing loyalty and valor.

Royal Order Bestowals

King Charles III, as the "Sovereign of the Order," exercises his prerogative to bestow this "personal gift," honoring both "ordinary" knights and ladies who are Scottish nationals and "extra knights and ladies" from the royal family or abroad.

Among the distinguished holders of this honor are Queen Camilla, Anne, the Princess Royal, and Prince William, the Duke of Rothesay, illustrating the royal family's integral connection to this esteemed order. The ceremonial induction of new members into the Order of the Thistle is a spectacle of tradition and pageantry, held in the Thistle Chapel at St.

Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh. This solemn occasion features knights in resplendent green velvet robes and white hats, participating in a regal procession that culminates in a service of installation, followed by a reception and luncheon hosted by the monarch, symbolizing the unity and continuity of Scotland's royal traditions.

This year, alongside Prince Edward, King Charles III has selected three distinguished Scots to receive this venerable honor, including Professor Dame Sue Black, a revered anthropologist; Baroness Helena Kennedy, a prominent lawyer and academic; and Sir Geoff Palmer, a pioneering scientist and academic.

These appointments highlight the Order's role in celebrating the contributions of individuals across a broad spectrum of disciplines, further enriching the cultural and intellectual fabric of Scotland and the United Kingdom at large.

King Charles
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