On Wednesday, the Duke of Cambridge was elected as an honorary royal fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE). His father, the Prince of Wales; aunt, the Princess Royal; along with his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh are all also honorary fellows of the organisation for which The Queen is the patron.
The Duke was one of sixty new additional members announced by the RSE. According to the Herald Scotland, the society stated it is looking forward to a, “long and fruitful relationship with its newest royal member.”
The RSE’s newest members are those who work in several professions such as arts, science and technology, the business community, and academia. The RSE is an independent non-political education charity, registered in Scotland with approximately 1,600 members located around the globe.
The RSE’s mission, as stated on their website is to, “play a leading role in the development of a modern enlightenment that will enable Scotland to contribute significantly to addressing the global challenges facing humanity in the 21st Century.” A five-year strategic plan is created to advance the fellowship. There are three levels of membership: Elected Fellow, Honorary Fellow and Corresponding Fellow. Fellows not only provide advice to the government, but they also assess research grants, schools activities and outreach and organising their free public events and business innovation activities.
The approximately 70 honorary members, like the members of the Royal Family, are considered ‘members of exceptional distinction.’ Other honorary members include Sir Edwin Southern, Professor Mary McAleese, Sir David Attenborough, Baroness Helena Kennedy of The Shaws, Professor Amartya Sen and Carol Ann Duffy, along with many others. The Corresponding Fellows are located internationally and number around the same as Honorary Fellows. These members have attained international standing. These Fellows ensure the organisation is connected globally.
On the homepage of their site, a slogan says, “knowledge made useful.” The RSE was established in 1783; it was created by the Royal Charter for “the advancement of learning.” It is Scotland’s National Academy. It was established to contribute to “the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of Scotland through the advancement of learning and useful knowledge.”