Prince William Installed as Knight of the Order of the Thistle, Wears Silly Hat
Sure, the outfit may be a little outdated, but the honor isn’t: Prince William was sworn in on Thursday as a Knight of the Order of the Thistle in Scotland. Congratulations!
Yesterday may have just been your standard, run-of-the-mill Thursday for most of us—but it was a big day for Prince William. Why? He was officially installed as a Knight of the Order of the Thistle by his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, in a ceremony in Scotland. Considered the highest honor available in the country, you can imagine the pomp and circumstance with which it received William. Congratulations, William!
According to Us Weekly, the Queen swore William in with the words, “It is our pleasure that His Royal Highness the Prince William, Earl of Strathearn”—that’s right, William has a Scottish title in addition to his English one, the Duke of Cambridge—“be installed a Knight of the most ancient and most noble Order of the Thistle.” William sported the traditional, if a bit antiquated, uniform of a forest green velour cloak adorned with gold embroidery and tassels, plus a blue hat with an enormous white plume. Goofy? A little, but the best traditional things usually are.
Naturally, Kate was also in attendance to support her husband, and as usual, she looked spectacular in a buttercream yellow coat dress, black pumps, and (of course) a beige hat. According to People, the dress was specially made by New Zealand designer Emilia Wickstead, and in a nod to her Scottish title, the Countess of Strathearn, Kate carried a scarf done up in the classic Strathearn tartan pattern.
The current version of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle (I know, I know—what’s it called when it’s at home?) was founded in 1687 by King James VII of Scotland, AKA James II of England and Ireland. Its emblem is the thistle, Scotland’s national flower, and its kpatron saint is St. Andrew. Fitting, given that St. Andrews University is where William and Kate studied, met, and fell in love! The Order traditional consists of sixteen Knights and Ladies, as well as number of “extra” knights—that is, members of the British royal family and foreign monarchs. As a royal family member, William is one of these “extra” knights, along with his father, Prince Charles, his grandfather, Prince Philip, and his aunt, Princess Anne. He’ll also henceforth be recognized as the Earl of Strathearn.
This is actually William’s second honorary knighthood; he earned his first in 2008 when he was invested in the Order of the Garter, the Order of the Thistle’s English equivalent, at Windsor Castle. Once upon a time there was an Irish equivalent as well, The Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick, but it’s dormant since the Irish Free State left the UK in 1922.
Congratulations, Prince William!
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.