The Royal Household has announced that His Majesty King Charles III has accepted the patronage of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

President of the RSE, Professor Sir John Ball, welcomed the news:

I am deeply honoured that His Majesty King Charles III has accepted the patronage of the Society.

“This represents the next stage of an enduring relationship, and I would like to thank His Majesty for his ongoing support and commitment to endeavours that promote science, education, and cultural advancement.

“I look forward to working with him and welcoming him to the RSE in the future.”

Prince Charles wearing a hat

The announcement means that the RSE will continue to have the reigning monarch as its patron, continuing an unbroken line which dates back to the days of King George III who gave the RSE its patronage in 1783.

King Charles III was himself elected as an Honorary Fellow of the RSE back in 1976 – signing the Fellow’s roll book a year later.

Queen Elizabeth II had been the Royal Patron of the RSE since her coronation in 1953. Her Majesty visited the RSE in June 1983 to mark the bicentenary of the RSE, and to open reconstructed rooms and a new lecture theatre in the RSE building on George Street. The RSE’s Royal Medals were subsequently established in 2000, being awarded to distinguished individuals such as the late Professor Peter Higgs FRS HonFRSE and Nicola Benedetti CBE HonFRSE.

The RSE has been privileged to enjoy a long-standing connection with the Royal Family, with Prince William, The Princess Royal and King Charles III all being part of the Fellowship .

In November 2023, The Princess Royal visited the RSE to award medals for outstanding contributions to scientific research.

Anne, Princess Royal et al. sitting in front of a laptop
HRH The Princess Royal speaking at the RSE – picture by Stewart Attwood Photography
John M. Ball et al. standing next to a person in a suit and tie
HRH The Princess Royal awarding Professor David Leigh FRSE with his medal, also pictured RSE President Sir John Ball PRSE – picture by Stewart Attwood Photography