Sir Ian Rankin OBE FRSE was awarded a knighthood by the Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 13 June 2023.

Elected as a Fellow of the RSE in 2015, Ian Rankin is known best for exploring contemporary Scottish society through his work. He has published 26 novels, including the Inspector Rebus series which has been translated into 26 languages. He has also written for radio, stage and film.

Ian Rankin wearing a suit and tie
Sir Ian Rankin was knighted for services to literature and charity, during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace | PA Media

Sir Ian said it was “absolutely thrilling” to be honoured with a knighthood. As a winner of several national and international awards, he was knighted for services to literature and charity. On getting his gong from the Princess Royal, he said he was initially “bemused” when told about the knighthood, explaining: “a few years ago I was given an OBE and I probably thought that’s about as much as I can expect”.

He added: “So I was very happy with that – but this was absolutely thrilling. And the fact that it was for charity work, or charitable giving, as well as the output of books was especially good because my wife and I have run a charitable foundation for quite a few years now but anonymously. Well, someone’s outed us now, I guess. Someone must have put me forward for this.”

Sir Ian Rankin speaking at the RSE’s Curious 2022 event: The curious mind of Ian Rankin