CITY council chief executive Sue Bruce described her time in the Capital as the highlight of her career as she was officially made a dame by the Queen.
After nearly 40 years in local government, Dame Sue is due to retire at the end of the month.
Her damehood was announced in the New Year’s Honours List and she was formally presented with it yesterday at an investiture ceremony at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
She was one of around 70 people picking up honours at the Queen’s official Scottish residence.
After the ceremony, she said: “This honour is something that I never expected to receive and as a lifelong public servant, it is a tremendous privilege. I thank everybody that I have worked with during my time at the City of Edinburgh Council and all those I have served with in the past – this medal truly is as much for them as it is for me.
“I have been hugely proud to dedicate myself to public service for almost 40 years.
“My time at the City of Edinburgh Council has been challenging, exciting and undoubtedly the highlight of my career.”
Dame Sue became the top official at the city council almost five years ago after moving from the post of chief executive in Aberdeen. She is credited with getting the Capital’s troubled tram project back on track and was instrumental in setting up the Edinburgh Guarantee, which promises every school leaver the chance of a job, training or further education.
But she also had to deal with the Mortonhall baby ashes scandal and the tragic death of Keane Wallis-Bennett, the pupil who died when a wall collapsed on her at Liberton High School.
Others receiving their honours at yesterday’s investiture included historian Professor Tom Devine, who was given a knighthood.
My time at the council has been challenging, exciting and the highlight of my careerDame Sue Bruce
The 69-year-old, who retired from Edinburgh University last year, is a leading academic authority on modern Scotland and was much in demand for his analysis at the time of the independence referendum.
Faith Liddell, director of Festivals Edinburgh, collected an OBE for services to the arts.
It was revealed earlier this month that she is to leave her post in the autumn after almost a decade as the figurehead of the Capital’s festivals, ahead of the landmark 70th summer of events next year.
Bruce Minto, the man who spearheaded the fundraising campaign for the refurbishment of the National Museum of Scotland, was there to collect his OBE.
Capital resident Mr Minto, a founder of legal firm Dickson Minto, headed the fundraising effort for the £47 million facelift of Chambers Street museum, which exceeded its target well in advance.
He was then appointed chairman of the museum’s board of trustees in 2012, succeeding banker Sir Angus Grossart.
Also receiving his honour yesterday was David Gow, the inventor of the hi-tech i-Limb prosthetic hand, who was awarded a CBE in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Mr Gow, head of the Southeast Mobility and Rehabilitation Technology Centre at NHS Lothian, studied mechanical engineering at Edinburgh University before going on to specialise in artificial limbs.
Later he set up Touch Bionics in Livingston and launched the revolutionary i-limb in 2007.
The bionic hand has a rotatable thumb and articulated fingers, each one individually powered by its own miniature motor and gearbox.
The innovative design allows the wearer to move individual fingers and perform 24 different grips.