Peer receives highest honour in Scotland

LORD Patel of Dunkeld was awarded the Order of the Thistle by the Queen yesterday.

He is the first Scottish Asian to be given the award, which recognises his contribution to Scotland.

The Order of the Thistle is the highest honour in Scotland and is second only to the Order of the Garter in the UK. It rewards Scots who have held public office or who have made a significant contribution to national life.

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Lord Patel was given the award during an audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

The 71-year-old chancellor of Dundee University said he was "delighted" to receive the order.

"I am much humbled and feel greatly honoured by Her Majesty giving me this award," he said.

Lord Patel was born in Tanzania in 1938 and studied medicine at Queen's College, St Andrews, which later became Dundee University.

He graduated in 1964 and worked at Ninewells Hospital for around 30 years, specialising in high-risk obstetrics.

He is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, honorary fellow of several Royal Colleges in the UK, Ireland and overseas, and has honorary doctorates in the UK and overseas.

He was knighted in 1997 and made a peer two years later.