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Order of the Thistle

The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is an order of chivalry in the British honours system, associated with contributions to Scotland. It is the highest order in Scotland, and second only to the Order of the Garter in the United Kingdom.

The date of foundation of the Order is unknown; when it was revived in 1687 by King James VII of Scotland and in 1703 by Queen Anne, it was attributed to a legendary "Achaius, King of Scots". However, historical evidence points to a foundation by James III.

The insignia includes several elements:

The Order consists of the Sovereign and sixteen knights, plus additional knights admitted by special statute. Also, the Order has four officers: the Dean, the Secretary, the Lord Lyon, King of Arms (the Order's Officer of Arms), and the Gentleman Usher of the Green Rod (the Order's usher).

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