Thieves raid Thistle Chapel at St Giles’ Cathedral

The plate stolen from the Thistle Chapel. Picture: contributed

The plate stolen from the Thistle Chapel. Picture: contributed

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BRAZEN thieves are causing a royal rumpus after furnishings went missing from the Thistle Chapel at St Giles’ Cathedral.

Church officials noticed items “vanishing” from the chapel including a tassel from the Queen’s cushion on her throne, a curtain commissioned by her father, George V, and cushions from the royal chaplain chairs.

A 19th century Dutch alms plate is the latest thing to be snatched from its display, gifted to the church by an Edinburgh lawyer in 1880.

It is believed the thief struck in full view of visitors, between 2pm and 5pm on Sunday.

Beadle Ian Moffat said he was shocked the culprit managed to get out unnoticed with the plate, which is more than two feet wide.

“It’s a very large plate and very heavy so how anyone actually managed to steal it and get it out the church is beyond me,” he said.

“We think the church is being targeted because there has been such a lot of stuff to go. Things have just been vanishing, it’s so sad.

“There was a tassel taken off [the Queen’s] throne, off her cushion, and one of the Knights of the Thistles seat covers was stolen. There were two curtains that were given by King George and they were hung in the Thistle Chapel – one of those was 
stolen.

“We put a lot of trust in the public that we can leave things out that are of value without them being stolen, but unfortunately that has not been the case recently.

“There’s only the original plate and the one that was in St Giles’ so it’s priceless to us.”

Security is now being tightened at the church, with members saying they will “nail things down if necessary” while preparations are made for the Queen’s visit in July.

And Mr Moffat is convinced the Queen will notice if things are out of place.

“We’re trying to get it ready for July when she comes so that the Queen won’t notice anything but I’m sure she will.

“Her father actually commissioned these curtains so she won’t be too happy. She will notice, there’s no question about it.”

Police suspect the plate, which looks like bronze but is made from metal, was most likely taken to be sold as scrap. They urged any dealers offered it to come forward.

A spokesman said: “The plaque was a gift from Holland and with a inscription in Dutch, and therefore a unique item for the cathedral. Anyone with any information that can assist police with their inquiries should contact police on 101.”