Celebrating Royal Week at Buckingham Palace

Celebrating Royal Week at Buckingham Palace

Recently, Buckingham Palace shared a stunning portrait capturing a momentous occasion during Royal Week in Scotland. The image featured the King and Queen alongside the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh, all dressed in their finest attire following the Thistle Service at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh. The foursome looked regal in their green Mantle of the Order of the Thistle velvet robes, adorned with white-plumed hats and glistening insignia, including the Thistle Stars, symbolizing the ceremony’s significance.

While the portrait was deemed “beautiful” by many royal enthusiasts, it also raised questions among some viewers. A notable absence in the portrait was the Duchess of Edinburgh, Sophie, who did attend the service but was not featured wearing robes or included in the photograph. The reason behind this omission stems from the fact that Sophie is not a Lady of the Thistle, the highest honor in Scotland. These honors are bestowed as personal gifts by the King, indicating that Sophie may receive the honor in the future. This distinction sheds light on the intricacies of royal protocol and traditions.

The Order of the Thistle, with a complement of 16 knights and ladies, holds a prestigious status in Scotland. Apart from the monarch, the Princess Royal and the Duke of Rothesay (Prince of Wales) are recognized as Royal Knights of the Thistle. Notably, Prince Edward was appointed to the Order on his 60th birthday in March, while Queen Camilla received the honor in June 2023. Those bestowed with the title of Thistle Knights or Ladies have made significant contributions to public office or national life, earning them this esteemed recognition.

The royal family’s involvement in various charitable endeavors and patronages further demonstrates their commitment to serving communities across Scotland. Queen Camilla, in her role as patron of Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres, has played a pivotal role in supporting cancer patients and their families. Additionally, she is involved with several charitable organizations in Scotland, such as Crathie Opportunity Holidays, Scotland’s Gardens Scheme, and Horseback UK, showcasing her dedication to various causes in the region. Prince Edward also carries out patronages of Scottish charitable organizations, including the Edinburgh International Festival, illustrating the royal family’s active engagement in supporting cultural and societal initiatives.

The Queen’s appointment as chancellor of the University of Aberdeen in 2013 underscores her deep-rooted connection to Scotland. In a poignant speech commemorating the 10th anniversary of her chancellorship, she expressed her affinity for the university and the city, considering it a homecoming due to her familial ties to Scotland. Such gestures reinforce the royal family’s enduring commitment to Scotland and its people, embodying a legacy of service and engagement with the community.

The historic portrait shared by Buckingham Palace serves as a testament to the royal family’s presence during Royal Week in Scotland. It encapsulates a moment of regal splendor and tradition, highlighting their roles as prominent figures in Scottish society. Through their involvement in charitable endeavors and patronages, the royal family continues to make a positive impact on communities across Scotland, exemplifying a legacy of service and dedication to the region.


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