Hundreds line Royal Mile for glimpse of the Queen

Smiles from the Queen during her visit to Edinburgh. Photo: Kris Miller/DCT Media
Smiles from the Queen during her visit to Edinburgh. Photo: Kris Miller/DCT Media
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The Queen has been joined by the Duke of Cambridge and the Princess Royal at a special ceremony in Edinburgh.

She attended the Thistle Service at St Giles’ Cathedral today at the end of a week of official engagements in Scotland.

The ceremony installed businessman and philanthropist Sir Ian Wood and Sir Richard Scott, the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, as new Knights of the Order of the Thistle.

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Hundreds lined the Royal Mile in the sunshine to catch a glimpse of the Royal family arriving at the cathedral wearing the Order’s traditional green velvet robes and white-plumed hats.

A guard of honour was mounted at the cathedral door by the Royal Company of Archers – the Queen’s bodyguard for Scotland – while the band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland played in West Parliament Square.

The Royal family was then joined in a procession by other members of the Order of the Thistle, including Lord Robertson of Port Ellen and Lord Steel of Aikwood.

During the ceremony, Sir Ian, best known for his work in the North Sea oil industry with the Wood Group, and Sir Richard, one of Britain’s largest landowners, took the oath of the Order before hundreds of invited guests.

Sir Ian said: “I am really honoured by this personal recognition from Her Majesty the Queen, which I share with the many very talented, committed and enterprising people I’ve worked with in my life across business, public life and in my more recent philanthropic activities in Scotland and in Africa.

“It is also deservedly shared with my beloved family.”

The service, which included prayers, readings and hymns, lasted about 45 minutes and featured music by the choir of St Giles’ Cathedral.

The national anthem was sung at the end of the ceremony before the procession left the cathedral to return to the nearby Signet Library.

The Order honours men and women who have held public office or who have contributed in a significant way to national life.

It is the highest honour in Scotland and is second only in precedence in the UK to the Order of the Garter.

The Duke of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal and the Duke of Cambridge, known in Scotland as The Earl of Strathearn, have all been appointed as Royal Knights of the Thistle.

The ceremony traditionally is followed by a reception in the Signet Library and a lunch at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

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