Peter Higgs honoured as Queen holds Garden Party

The Queen hosted the annual Garden Party at Holyrood following the earlier investiture ceremony where Peter Higgs, below, was among those honoured. Pic: Jane Barlow
The Queen hosted the annual Garden Party at Holyrood following the earlier investiture ceremony where Peter Higgs, below, was among those honoured. Pic: Jane Barlow
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Nobel Prize-winning scientist Professor Peter Higgs was among more than 70 people from all walks of life to receive honours from the Queen today.

The acclaimed theoretical physicist was made a Companion of Honour for services to physics during an investiture ceremony at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

Professor Peter Higgs, celebrated Nobel laureate and Emeritus Professor for theoretical physics at the University of Edinburgh, who was made a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to physics during an investiture ceremony with Queen Elizabeth II at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 1, 2014. See PA story ROYAL Holyrood. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Professor Peter Higgs, celebrated Nobel laureate and Emeritus Professor for theoretical physics at the University of Edinburgh, who was made a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to physics during an investiture ceremony with Queen Elizabeth II at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 1, 2014. See PA story ROYAL Holyrood. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Former Glasgow School of Art director Seona Reid became a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, while the commander of the Army in Scotland, Major General Nicholas Eeles, and Scottish writer Allan Massie picked up CBEs.

The ceremony saw people from across Scotland recognised for a variety of reasons, such as being leaders in their field or for services to the community.

Speaking after the event, Prof Higgs said: “It was quite a surprise to find I was first on the list and first in line, so I didn’t have anyone in front of me to imitate and make sure I got the movements right.

“It was the second time I have met the Queen to receive a medal and we exchanged recollections of having met before.”

A total of 71 people were awarded after they were named in the New Year’s Honours List, including soldiers recently returned from Afghanistan and members of the emergency services.

Former Arctic explorer, mountaineer and scientist Dr Philip Gribbon collected the Polar Medal.

Major Steve Dallard of 2 Scots, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, received an OBE for services in Afghanistan along with Captain Ross Boyd from the same battalion.

Maj Dallard said: “I felt extremely honoured. We had a challenging tour last year and on behalf of everyone who I served with from our battalion and company, it’s a great honour.

“I met Her Majesty yesterday as I was a guard commander for her arrival, so I was more nervous yesterday than I was this morning. Having got her arrival out of the way yesterday and everything going smoothly, then this morning I was quite relaxed, so it was good.”

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh also hosted their annual garden party in the grounds of the palace today, with around 8,000 guests from across Scotland invited.

The garden party takes place each year during Royal Week, a traditional period in which the monarch carries out engagements in Scotland.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh chatted to guests while she walked around the grounds of the palace during the garden party wearing an Edina Ronay pale blue dress coat and Angela Kelly hat.

First to meet the monarch was Margaret Miller from Springboig in Glasgow, who will celebrate her 104th birthday next month.

Mrs Miller, who is a double British Empire Medal holder and one of the original members of the Women’s Voluntary Service after joining in 1939, said: “This is the first time I’ve met the Queen, I’ve been at the garden party before but never met her and I was delighted to talk to her today.

“She congratulated me on my work and I was very honoured to meet her.”

Elaine McGuire and Jillian McQuarrie joked that the girls of 6th Airdrie Girls Brigade would be “hysterical” when they found out they had both met the Queen.

Ms McGuire said: “She was asking what we were doing and what age group we work with and asked us how rewarding it is.

“The girls won’t believe us - we will have to get photographic proof to show them where we were and that we were talking to the Queen.”

Graham Littlejohn, representing Montrose RNLI, also spoke with the Queen.

“She was just asking about the lifeboat and how busy we were. I just told her we’ve had a lot of shouts over the last few months,” he said.

“She was really interested in the boats and she knew all about them.

“It was an honour to meet her. It was certainly different and something I probably won’t get the chance to do again - unless she comes to the lifeboat station for a cup of tea.”