The Royal Order of Scotland is the oldest Masonic Order after the Craft, having originated in London at about 1740 and was then re-introduced in Edinburgh in 1767. The Grand Lodge in Edinburgh controls the 81 Provincial Grand Lodges situated in many parts of the world. The Order has always claimed that the King of the Scots is the hereditary Grand Master.
The Royal Order comprises two Degrees, namely:
- The Heredom of Kilwinning, conferred in Provincial Grand Chapter
- Knighthood of the Rosy Cross, conferred in Provincial Grand Lodge
The Ritual has remained unchanged for over 260 years and is recited almost entirely in the form of rhyming catechisms.
Membership of this Christian Order is highly prized and is by strict invitation. The basic qualification is that prospective candidates must be Master Masons of at least five years standing. In this Province, they are also expected to have passed the Chair of a Craft Lodge, to be Royal Arch Companions and also a member of at least one of the other Christian Orders.