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Prince Edward debuts birthday gift from brother King Charles

The Duke of Edinburgh celebrated his 60th birthday in March

Prince Edward wearing military uniform
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
15 April 2024
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The Duke of Edinburgh was given an incredible gift from his brother, the King, on his 60th birthday and he's worn it for the very first time.

 Charles, 75, appointed Prince Edward to the Order of the Thistle – Scotland's highest honour – on his milestone birthday on 10 March.

 And as the Duke attended the Service of Dedication for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship at RFA Stirling Castle in Leith last Thursday, he debuted the star insignia of the Order.

 The star of the Order of the Thistle is silver, with St. Andrew's saltire and clusters of rays. In the centre is a green circle bearing the motto in gold, inside the circle is a thistle on a gold background.

Prince Edward's Order of the Thistle star© Getty
Prince Edward wore the Order of the Thistle for the first time

The order has a complement of 16 knights and ladies, and in addition the Queen, the Princess Royal and the Duke of Rothesay, as the Prince of Wales is known in Scotland, are Royal Knights of the Thistle.

Edward, who is commodore-in-chief of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, donned military uniform and his honours and medals, as he joined the ceremony on board the new naval ship which will help safeguard UK waters from underwater threats.

The Duke has shared a close affinity with Scotland for many years. Previously known as the Earl of Wessex, the King made Edward the Duke of Edinburgh on his 59th birthday.

The late Queen Elizabeth II granted her youngest son the additional title of Earl of Forfar to mark his 55th birthday, and he holds several patronages of Scottish charitable organisations including the Edinburgh International Festival.

Edward and Sophie's daughter, Lady Louise Windsor, 20, also attends the University of St Andrews in Fife, where she is currently studying for her English degree.

The Duke of Edinburgh has also become Colonel of the Scots Guards as the Duke of Kent, 88, stepped down from the role after 50 years, it was announced on Saturday.

Prince Edward in naval uniform© Getty
Edward also wore his Order of the Garter star

Edward, Duke of Kent, who was a cousin of the late Queen, attended a morning service at the Guards Chapel in central London to begin Black Sunday, the regiment's annual day of remembrance for its fallen servicemen and their families.

The service was attended by both active members of the Scots Guards, wearing the regiment's distinctive red tunic, and veteran Guardsmen.

A procession made up of the Scots Guards band, pipes and serving troops then marched from the chapel to the Guards Memorial, which is dedicated to members of the Guards Division who died in both world wars and conflicts since. They were flanked by dozens of veteran Guardsmen, many wearing medals from their service.

The Duke of Kent leaves the Scots Guards' Black Sunday Parade at the Wellington Barracks © Victoria Jones - PA Images
The Duke of Kent has handed over the role of Colonel of the Scots Guards to the Duke of Edinburgh

On handing over the colonelcy, the Duke said: "Serving as Colonel of the Scots Guards since 1974, the longest anyone has spent in this role, has been a true honour and one which will forever fill me with great joy.

"Through those years, I have seen the work of the Scots Guards during peacetime and war and witnessed their bravery, selfless courage and devotion to duty.

"To my fellow Scots Guardsmen, I am immensely proud to have served you all. I am delighted that His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will continue to champion all that you do and work towards preserving your great legacy."

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