AN SNP MP has said the “good name and reputation” of Edinburgh is being used as a “plaything” as the King appointed Prince Edward to the Order of the Thistle.

Appointments to the order- described as the “highest honour in Scotland” by the royal family’s website – are entirely in the personal gift of the King and do not require prime ministerial advice.

Charles previously came in for criticism when he appointed his wife Queen Camilla to the order last year.

He made Edward the Duke of Edinburgh to mark his 59th birthday last year.

Speaking to The National, SNP MP for Edinburgh East Tommy Sheppard said: “I think most people in Edinburgh will be left cold by this. It’s of complete irrelevance to the pressures people are facing in their everyday life.

“I think a number of people will feel quite resentful that the good name and reputation of our city is being used as a plaything in a game that the richest family in the country play.”

We previously told how Scottish Greens councillors in Edinburgh called for the title to not be officially recognised by the city prior to the coronation.

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Sheppard also pointed to the fact that Edinburgh won’t be the only city to feel this way as there has also been debate over Prince Andrew’s “Earl of Inverness” title.

More than 12,000 people have now signed a petition organised by The National calling for Andrew (below) to be stripped of his title.

The National:

Sheppard continued: “I don’t want to speak for other parties but I certainly know some Labour colleagues on the council who will feel equally riled about this.

“It (the Order of the Thistle) presents itself as some very special, high level group of people appointed because of their service to Scotland.

“Edward doesn’t even live here. To do this demeans the Order of the Thistle if it had any meaning, but it also reduces the reputation of the city itself and not just Edinburgh, the same can be said for Inverness and Prince Andrew.

“They seem to use the historical reputation as baubles. A lot of people are saying is it not time to get real, is this really what we want in our head of state and the way the country is governed?

“It’s just extremely rich people playing their own game while others struggle.”

The MP added: “The Order of the Thistle ought to be scrapped and replaced by a democratic organisation of the real contribution that people make to their country.”

Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer (below) told The National: “The absurdity of the publicly funded Windsor family patting each other on the back and handing out elaborate Scottish titles while the country suffers through another brutal round of Tory cuts to public services won’t be lost on anyone.

The National:

“Last year Charles handed the Order of the Thistle to his wife. This year he hands it to his brother. And the public are expected to politely clap along. It’s no wonder polls increasingly show we’re all fed up with this nonsense and that support for replacing the monarchy with an elected head of state is on the rise.

“Scotland deserved to be a modern, democratic and independent republic where power lies with the people. All the pantomime titles and gold-plated ceremonies in the world won’t distract growing numbers of people demanding that basic democratic principle.”

CEO of anti-monarchy group Republic Graham Smith was also among those to condemn the latest honour. 

He told The National: "As the monarchy's poll numbers fall and the royals continue to face questions of secrecy and corruption all they can do is hand out pointless medals. 

"What has Edward done to deserve a national honour? What have the people of Edinburgh done to have him foisted upon them as Duke? 

"It's time to scrap these daft trinkets and have a serious debate about the state of our democracy and the end of the monarchy."

Edward has also given a rare newspaper interview, in which he claimed the monarchy is “as important as ever” in “trying to bring people together”.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said: “Our role – being part of the monarchy – in trying to bring people together is as important as ever, if not more so today.

“I think we all wonder how we can reach out to those communities who perhaps don’t always think that this, the monarchy, is something for them.”

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Earlier this week, a poll by Savanta found that more people under 45 would prefer an elected head of state than a monarch for the first time.

A recent poll by Savanta found 42% of those under 45 now prefer an elected head of state, with 39% preferring a monarchy.

By contrast, in November the same poll had the monarchy three points ahead among the under 45s.