Order of the Thistle 2018 Ceremony

Edinburgh | Scotland

Once a year, a tradition started by Queen Victoria, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth travels to Scotland for a throng of engagements including the much-loved Holyrood Week. During this packed week Her Majesty hosts and attends an endless list of audiences, a military parade, a garden party as well as an investiture ceremony at the Holyrood Palace. Another of these ceremonies were attended by Her Majesty with Princess Anne and the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William. The three royals gathered at the famed cathedral for the Order of the Thistle 2018 ceremony.


The Order of the Thistle 2018 ceremony was hosted at the St Giles’ Cathedral in Scotland and saw Her Majesty being assisted by her grandson and her daughter. Despite the exceptionally busy week, the monarch seemed in exceptionally good spirits as she was seen smiling and laughing throughout the Order of the Thistle 2018 ceremony. Dressed in the traditional velvet robes of green, the royals donned their insignia for the ceremony with their Ostrich feather hats.

Order of the Thistle 2018 Ceremony Princess Anne the Princess Royal
Princess Anne the Princess Royal arrives in full regalia
Order of the Thistle 2018 Ceremony
Her Majesty The Queen and Prince William the Duke of Cambridge

During the Order of the Thistle 2018 ceremony, Her Majesty awards men and women who have ‘made a significant difference to national life or held a public office role’. Only Princess Ann, the Princess Royal, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Phillip the Duke of Edinburgh are members of the Order of the Thistle. Other noticeable Knights and Ladies include Lady Marion Fraser, the ex-Director of St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh and Sir Garth Morrison, the Chief Scout of the United Kingdom.

Order of the Thistle 2018 Ceremony
The collar consists of a gold & enamel chain, representing a single thistle & 4 interlinked sprigs of rue, with an enamelled badge featuring St Andrew who carries the cross of his matrydom.

The Order of the Thistle 2018 ceremony commenced with a procession from Signet Library, located in the Edinburgh Town Centre. Thereafter the Guard of Honour with the Colours of the Royal Company proceed from Parliament Square Edinburgh by the Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. From there, Her Majesty the Queen, the Chancellor Dean and the Secretary of the Thistle as well as the Knights and Ladies are then move inside the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle where the Queen installed the new additions.

Order of the Thistle 2018 Ceremony
The Star features a silver saltire & the central gold medallion contains an enamel thistle within a green border inscribed with the motto 'Nemo me Impune Lacessit' (No one harms me with impunity).

Shortly after this the above-mentioned parties moved to St. Giles’ Cathedral where the rest of the service took place. Thereafter, members are invited to a reception hosted in the Signet Library followed by a lunch hosted at Holyrood Palace.

Images courtesy of Buckingham Palace and the Royal Collection Trust

Spencer Cunningham

Feature Writer

Having recently completed his Masters in Journalism, Spencer Cunningham is currently serving as a Feature Writer at Salon Prive Magazine.

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