Queen bestows honours during investiture ceremony at Holyrood

Stars of Scottish sport, charity campaigners and military veterans have received honours from the Queen during an investiture at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Former Scotland rugby international and MND campaigner Doddie Weir was among the recipients.

A “very proud” Mr Weir said that his OBE was testament to all those who have helped “on my journey to find the ultimate cure” for the disease.

“It’s been a beautiful day here at Holyrood Palace receiving that award in front of the Queen,” he said.

The 48-year-old former lock, capped 61 times for his country, revealed in 2017 that he had the terminal illness and set up the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation to raise funds for research and provide grants to help those affected by MND.

Speaking to PA Scotland after receiving the award, Mr Weir said: “It’s been amazing but I have to admit that I’ve got to thank so many hundreds of thousands of people who have helped me on the journey to try and find a cure for MND, because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here.

“So thanks to them and thanks to my family. It’s been an amazing day so far.”

Investitures at Palace of Holyroodhouse
Investitures at Palace of Holyroodhouse

Mr Weir, who was joined by his family at the ceremony in Edinburgh, said that receiving the OBE was “certainly up there” among his life highlights and that he would be taking his wife and children out to drink champagne and “enjoy life and worry about tomorrow when it comes”.

Renowned for wearing vibrant tartan, he unveiled a new suit for the occasion and said: “This is the Holyrood Diamond Jubilee Tartan, so very special, very unique, very themed as well and first time on today.

“Every time I put this tartan on I’ll have a lot of lovely memories.”

The former chairwoman of Sport Scotland, Louise Martin, who brought the Commonwealth Games to Glasgow in 2014 was awarded the honour of Dame Commander of the British Empire for her services to sport.

Investitures at Palace of Holyroodhouse
Investitures at Palace of Holyroodhouse

Dame Louise dedicated the award to “everybody in Scotland” and said: “It’s surreal, I can’t believe it.

“This is for everybody in Scotland, not just me, because I couldn’t do it without them, and my family of course.”

After collecting the honour, she said she felt “out of this world” and added: “The Queen was absolutely magnificent, she was on top form. She’s really, really brilliant and she knows a lot about everybody.

“I have met her a few times, but today was extra special.”

The Church of Scotland’s first-ever female Moderator, Alison Elliot, became a CBE and said: “It’s a great privilege to be here”.

Investitures at Palace of Holyroodhouse
Investitures at Palace of Holyroodhouse

Ms Elliot, who is now the General Secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, revealed that she spoke to the Queen about showing her three grandchildren her medal while collecting the award.

She added: “It’s a wonderful chance to just simply remember the things that have led to this and to recognise that it’s all happened.

“It’s also been wonderful today to be in the company of all the other people who have got awards.”

Tourette’s syndrome campaigner John Davidson, who became famous from a 1989 BBC documentary about his life called John’s Not Mad, became an OBE.

Investitures at Palace of Holyroodhouse
Investitures at Palace of Holyroodhouse

Davidson, of Galashiels, has dedicated his life to raising awareness of Tourette’s and also helping families dealing with the condition across the country.

Brigadier Sir Melville Jameson, the Lord Lieutenant of Perth and Kinross and former chief executive of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo between 1995 and 2007, received a knighthood – along with newly-knighted scientist Professor Mike Ferguson of the University of Dundee who works on developing new drugs and treatment for neglected diseases.