Alexander McCall Smith to be knighted at Palace of Holyroodhouse

The author wrote the bestselling The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.

Alexander McCall Smith to be knighted at Palace of Holyroodhouse PA Media

Author Sir Alexander McCall Smith is to be knighted at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

He will be given the honour for services to literature, academia and charity at an investiture ceremony on Tuesday.

The writer, creator of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, has written and contributed to more than 100 books including short story collections, children’s books and specialist academic titles.

The author conceived the idea of the Great Tapestry of Scotland (Katielee Arrowsmith/PA) PA Media

The detective agency series, set in Botswana, has now sold more than 20 million copies in the English language alone.

The author, an emeritus professor of medical law at the University of Edinburgh, is also known for series including the 44 Scotland Street novels, the Isabel Dalhousie collection, and the von Igelfeld books.

Now 75, he was born in what was then known as Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, and made Edinburgh his home after studying there.

He conceived the idea of the Great Tapestry of Scotland, now housed in Galashiels.

He is also a patron of several charities including The Eric Liddell Community, a care charity and community hub in Edinburgh.

Others to be honoured on Tuesday, after being named in the King’s New Year Honours, include Paul Mealor, professor of composition at the University of Aberdeen.

He will become a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO) – a gift given by the King to people who have served him or the monarchy in a personal way.

Prof Mealor composed Coronation Kyrie for the King’s coronation last year and has composed music for other royal occasions over the past decade, including the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 2011, and Charles’s 65th, 70th and 75th birthdays.

Professor Paul Mealor was one of 12 people selected to create new pieces of music for the King’s coronation (University of Aberdeen/PA) PA Media

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal of the University of Strathclyde, will be appointed to the most senior rank of the Order of the British Empire.

He was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year Honours list, for services to engineering, education and energy.

Sir Jim became principal and vice-chancellor of the university in March 2009 following a long association with Strathclyde, studying his bachelor of science, masters and PhD degrees in the areas of electronic and electrical engineering, power systems and energy economics.

Liz Smith, a former Scotland cricketer who is now a Conservative MSP, will become a CBE for services to sport.

The Mid Scotland and Fife MSP won seven caps with the Scottish Ladies’ Cricket XI and is also a former president of the Scottish Women’s Cricket Association.

She no longer plays professionally but is still involved in the sport through coaching.

Liz Smith in 2021 (Fraser Bremner/Scottish Daily Mail/PA) PA Media

Members of the emergency services will also be honoured on Tuesday.

They include Police Scotland Chief Superintendent Faroque Hussain, who will receive the King’s Police Medal.

Mr Hussain, from Largs, is the first ethnic minority police officer to progress through the ranks from constable to the post of chief superintendent.

The tactical firearms commander won praise for his adept handling of the response to Operation Unicorn – where he was responsible for all firearms officers involved in the large-scale policing operation put in place following the death of the Queen in September 2022.

Retired chief superintendent Carol McGuire, from Symington, and Police Constable Stephanie Rose, from Denny, will receive the King’s Police Medal.

Ms McGuire joined Strathclyde Police in 1995 and retired in October last year.

During the course of her career she undertook a secondment to the football co-ordination unit Scotland, where she developed the country’s first national strategy for the policing of football.

Pc Rose developed the Keep Safe initiative in partnership with I Am Me Scotland, which was piloted in Renfrewshire in 2014 before becoming a national programme in 2015.

The initiative creates a network of local businesses to establish Keep Safe places for disabled, vulnerable and elderly people to go if they feel lost, confused, scared or intimidated, or have been the victim of a crime.

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