Professor Lady Sue Black, Baroness Black of Strome, has been installed as a member of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland’s greatest order of chivalry.

Sue Black at Thistle Service July 2024

The President became a member of the Order of the Thistle during a service at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh on 3 July 2024.

Order of Service Thistle Service 3 July 2024

Officially known as The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, the Order recognises those who have greatly contributed to Scottish life. The King is the Sovereign of the Order, and appointments to the Order of the Thistle are entirely in the personal gift of the monarch. In addition to the sixteen Knights and Ladies, The Queen, The Princess Royal and The Duke of Rothesay (the Scottish title of The Prince of Wales) are Royal Knights of the Thistle.

The former Principal of Mansfield College, Baroness Helena Kennedy of the Shaws was also installed to the Order today.

Thistle border_1

A new ‘Scottish border’, designed by St John's First Head Gardener, Phil Shefford, Second Head Gardener, Jane Colquhoun, and Keeper of the Groves, Professor Noël Sugimura, in association with Lear Associates, has been planted in the St John's gardens in honour of the President.

The border was unveiled in May 2024 and has a wide variety of plants including roses, clematis, eryngiums and thistles, with Echinops ‘Blue Glow’ and Rosa 'Mary Queen of Scots' standing out.

Members of the public are welcome to visit the gardens from 1.00 to 5.00 pm daily, or until dusk in the winter.

The full planting plan for the Scottish border can be viewed here.