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The Duke of Cambridge is installed as a Knight of the Order of the Thistle

5th July 2012

The Duke of Cambridge is installed as a Knight of the Order of the Thistle

The Duke of Cambridge attends the Thistle Service at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, where he was installed as a Knight of the Thistle

The Duke of Cambridge has been given the highest honour in Scotland after being installed as a Knight of the Thistle at a service in Edinburgh.

The event at the city's St Giles' Cathedral was attended by The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal, The Duchess of Cambridge and hundreds of invited guests.

Thousands of people crowded on to the Royal Mile to catch a glimpse of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - known as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn while in Scotland - and other members of the Royal Family as they made their way from the Signet Library, across Parliament Square and into the cathedral.

The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is Scotland's highest honour and is second in precedence to the Garter.

Its origins are uncertain, but its legendary status was recognised when it was revived in 1687 by James II (James VII of Scotland).

The Prince of Wales is also among current royal Knights and Ladies of the Thistle and was installed in 1977.

The Princess Royal was installed in the Order of the Thistle in June 2001.

The Royal Family entered the cathedral shortly before 11am to a fanfare, accompanied by other members of the Order, all wearing ceremonial gowns.

Meanwhile, The Duchess of Cambridge, wearing a pale yellow coat and hat, took her place in the audience.

The installation ceremony was conducted by the Dean of the Thistle, Rev. Gilleasbuig Macmillan.

The short ceremony took place within the internal Thistle Chapel and was broadcast through speakers to those in the cathedral.

The Queen said: "It is our pleasure that His Royal Highness The Prince William, Earl of Strathearn, be installed a Knight of the most ancient and most noble Order of the Thistle."