battle of Athelstaneford, Clement Attlee, Edinburgh., HRH The Duke of Cambridge, HRH The Earl of Strathearn, James VII, King George VI of Great Britain, King of Scots, Kings and Queens of England, kings and queens of Scotland, kings and queens of the United Kingdom, Order of the Thistle, Robert I, Scotland, St Giles Cathedral, the Bruce, Winston Churchill
HRH The Duke of Cambridge, known as The Earl of Strathearn in Scotland, was invested in the Order of the Thistle today in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh. The Order of the Thistle is the second Order in the hierarchy of precedence after the Order of the Garter.
The Order of the Thistle was created in Scotland by James VII, King of Scots (1685-1688) in 1687. King James claimed he was reviving the order but historians are mixed about the history of the Order. There is a legend that states that Achaius, King of Scots founded the order in 786 after he claims to have seen the cross of St. Andrew in the sky during the battle of Athelstaneford against King Æthelstan of East Anglia. Robert I, the Bruce, King of Scots (1306–1329) is also said to have revived the Order upon winning Scottish independence from England at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
The Sovereign, as the Font of All Honors, historically had the power to choose the Knights of the Order. In the eighteenth century the Sovereign only made the selection of the Knights of the Order upon the advice of the Government of the day. This made the Order of the Thistle and the Order of the Garter subject to political bias. In 1947 King George VI of Great Britain was granted permission by Prime Minister Clement Attlee and the Leader of the Opposition, Winston Churchill, to return the power to select the member of both Orders back to the Sovereign. Ever since then they have been a personal gift of the Sovereign.