The Order of the Thistle

The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is an order of chivalry, which represents the highest honour in Scotland.

Appointments to the Order are entirely in the personal gift of The Queen and are not made on the advice of the Prime Minister, as are most other Honours.   In addition to some members of the Royal Family the order has sixteen members who must be born in Scotland.

Appointments are made for life so new appointments are made only when vacancies occur following the death of a holder of the honour.   These appointments are traditionally made on St Andrew’s Day (30th November).