Public Honours

Civic Awards

Freedom of the City 

This honorary award is granted rarely to individuals who have distinguished themselves through their work or efforts, or to recognise the respect and high esteem in which they are held by the people of Edinburgh.

Freedom of the City is the most prestigious honour bestowed by the Council. The only living Freemen of the City are

  • HM The Queen - presented July 1947
  • HRH The Duke of Edinburgh - presented March 1949
  • Sir Sean Connery - presented June 1991
  • Ms Aung San Suu Kyi - presented in absentia June 2005
  • Sir Chris Hoy - presented September 2012.

William Y Darling Bequest for Good Citizenship

Each year the Council invites organisations and individuals in the city to nominate persons for consideration for presentation of the award for Good Citizenship instituted by the Will of the late Sir William Y Darling, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, 1941-1944.

The award is made to the citizen or citizens of Edinburgh who, in the opinion of the Council, "has or have done most for the City's Honour and Welfare" during the preceding year.

The 2013/2014 William Y Darling Award was presented on 28 October 2014 to Lynne McNicoll.

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