Order of the Garter

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Most Noble Order of the Garter
Arms of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.svg
Arms of the Most Noble Order of the Garter: A cross of St George, circumscribed by the Garter
Awarded by
Sovereign of the United Kingdom
Type Dynastic order
Established1348;671 years ago (1348)
Motto Middle French: Honi soit qui mal y pense (Shame on him who thinks ill of it) [1]
CriteriaAt the monarch's pleasure
StatusCurrently constituted
Founder Edward III of England
Sovereign Queen Elizabeth II
Chancellor James, Duke of Abercorn
Classes
  • Knight/Lady
  • Royal Knight/Lady
  • Stranger Knight/Lady
Statistics
First induction1348
Last induction2019
Total inductees
Precedence
Next (higher) George Cross
Next (lower) Order of the Thistle
Order of the Garter UK ribbon.png
Riband of the Order of the Garter
Symbol of the Order of the Garter embroidered onto the left shoulder of the blue velvet mantle of a Knight KG badge.jpg
Symbol of the Order of the Garter embroidered onto the left shoulder of the blue velvet mantle of a Knight
Henry of Grosmont, Earl of Lancaster (d.1361) (later Duke of Lancaster), the second appointee of the Order, shown wearing a tabard displaying the royal arms of England over which is his blue mantle or garter robe. Illuminated miniature from the Bruges Garter Book made c.1430 by William Bruges (1375-1450), first Garter King of Arms Portrait of Henry, Duke of Lancaster - William Bruges's Garter Book (c.1440-1450), f.8 - BL Stowe MS 594 (cropped).jpg
Henry of Grosmont, Earl of Lancaster (d.1361) (later Duke of Lancaster), the second appointee of the Order, shown wearing a tabard displaying the royal arms of England over which is his blue mantle or garter robe. Illuminated miniature from the Bruges Garter Book made c.1430 by William Bruges (1375–1450), first Garter King of Arms

The Most Noble Order of the Garter is an order of chivalry founded by King Edward III of England in 1348. It is the most senior order of knighthood in the British honours system, outranked in precedence only by the Victoria Cross and the George Cross. The Order of the Garter is dedicated to the image and arms of Saint George, England's patron saint.

Order of chivalry Order, confraternity or society of knights

A chivalric order, order of chivalry, order of knighthood or equestrian order is an order, confraternity or society of knights typically founded during or inspired by the original Catholic military orders of the Crusades, paired with medieval concepts of ideals of chivalry.

Order of precedence is a sequential hierarchy of nominal importance of persons. Most often it is used in the context of people by many organizations and governments, for very formal and state occasions, especially where diplomats are present. It can also be used in the context of decorations, medals and awards. Historically, the order of precedence had a more widespread use, especially in court and aristocratic life.

Victoria Cross highest military decoration awarded for valour in armed forces of various Commonwealth countries

The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It is awarded for gallantry "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed Forces. It may be awarded posthumously. It was previously awarded to Commonwealth countries, most of which have established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians under military command although no civilian has received the award since 1879. Since the first awards were presented by Queen Victoria in 1857, two-thirds of all awards have been personally presented by the British monarch. These investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace.

Contents

Appointments are made at the Sovereign's sole discretion. Membership of the Order is limited to the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and no more than 24 living members, or Companions. The order also includes supernumerary knights and ladies (e.g., members of the British royal family and foreign monarchs). New appointments to the Order of the Garter are often announced on St George's Day (23 April), as Saint George is the order's patron saint. [2]

Prince of Wales British Royal Family Title

Prince of Wales was a title granted to princes born in Wales from the 12th century onwards; the term replaced the use of the word king. One of the last Welsh princes, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, was killed in battle in 1282 by Edward I, King of England, whose son Edward was invested as the first English Prince of Wales in 1301.

British royal family Family consisting of close relatives of the monarch of the United Kingdom

The British royal family comprises Queen Elizabeth II and her close relations. There is no strict legal or formal definition of who is or is not a member of the British royal family.

Saint George 4th-century Christian saint and martyr

Saint George was a soldier of Cappadocian Greek origins, member of the Praetorian Guard for Roman emperor Diocletian, who was sentenced to death for refusing to recant his Christian faith. He became one of the most venerated saints and megalo-martyrs in Christianity, and he has been especially venerated as a military saint since the Crusades.

The order's emblem is a garter with the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense (Middle French: "Shame on him who thinks ill of it") in gold lettering. Members of the order wear it on ceremonial occasions.

Motto Short sentence expressing a motivation

A motto is a maxim; a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of an individual, family, social group or organization. Mottos are usually found predominantly in written form, and may stem from long traditions of social foundations, or from significant events, such as a civil war or a revolution. A motto may be in any language, but Latin has been widely used, especially in the Western world.

<i>Honi soit qui mal y pense</i> Anglo-Norman maxim

Honi soit qui mal y pense is a French maxim used as the motto of the British chivalric Order of the Garter. It is translated as "May he be shamed who thinks badly of it" or "Shame be to him who thinks evil of it" or "Evil be to him that evil thinks." In contemporary French usage, it is usually used to insinuate the presence of hidden agendas or conflicts of interest.

Middle French is a historical division of the French language that covers the period from the 14th to the early 17th centuries. It is a period of transition during which:

History

King Edward III founded the Order of the Garter around the time of his claim to the French throne. [1] The traditional year of foundation is usually given as 1348 (when it was formally proclaimed). However, the Complete Peerage , under "The Founders of the Order of the Garter", states the order was first instituted on 23 April 1344, listing each founding member as knighted in 1344. The list includes Sir Sanchet D'Abrichecourt, who died on 20 October 1345. [3] Other dates from 1344 to 1351 have also been proposed. The King's wardrobe account shows Garter habits first issued in the autumn of 1348. Also, its original statutes required that each member of the Order already be a knight (what would now be referred to as a knight bachelor) and some of the initial members listed were only knighted that year. [4] The foundation is likely to have been inspired by the Spanish Order of the Band, established in about 1330. [5]

Edward III of England 14th-century King of England and Duke of Aquitaine

Edward III was King of England and Lord of Ireland from January 1327 until his death; he is noted for his military success and for restoring royal authority after the disastrous and unorthodox reign of his father, Edward II. Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. His long reign of 50 years was the second longest in medieval England and saw vital developments in legislation and government, in particular the evolution of the English parliament, as well as the ravages of the Black Death.

English claims to the French throne Wikimedia list article

From the 1340s to the 19th century, excluding two brief intervals in the 1360s and the 1420s, the kings and queens of England also claimed the throne of France. The claim dates from Edward III, who claimed the French throne in 1340 as the sororal nephew of the last direct Capetian, Charles IV. Edward and his heirs fought the Hundred Years' War to enforce this claim, and were briefly successful in the 1420s under Henry V and Henry VI, but the House of Valois, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, was ultimately victorious and retained control of France. Despite this, English and British monarchs continued to prominently call themselves kings of France, and the French fleur-de-lis was included in the royal arms. This continued until 1801, by which time France no longer had any monarch, having become a republic. The Jacobite claimants, however, did not explicitly relinquish the claim.

<i>The Complete Peerage</i> set of books by G. E. Cokayne and others

The Complete Peerage is a comprehensive and magisterial work on the titled aristocracy of the British Isles.

The earliest written mention of the Order is found in Tirant lo Blanch , a chivalric romance written in Catalan mainly by Valencian Joanot Martorell. It was first published in 1490. This book devotes a chapter to the description of the origin of the Order of the Garter. [6]

<i>Tirant lo Blanch</i> book

Tirant lo Blanch is a chivalric romance written by the Valencian knight Joanot Martorell, finished posthumously by his friend Martí Joan de Galba and published in the city of Valencia in 1490 as an incunabulum edition. The title means "Tirant the White" and is the name of the romance's main character who saves the Byzantine Empire.

Chivalric romance type of prose and verse narrative

As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a type of prose and verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe. They were fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures, often of a chivalric knight-errant portrayed as having heroic qualities, who goes on a quest. It developed further from the epics as time went on; in particular, "the emphasis on love and courtly manners distinguishes it from the chanson de geste and other kinds of epic, in which masculine military heroism predominates."

Valencian dialectal variety of the Catalan language spoken in the Valencian Community

Valencian or Valencian language is the historical, traditional and official name used in the Valencian Community (Spain), and extra-officially in the El Carche comarca in Murcia (Spain), for referring to the Romance language also known as Catalan. The Valencian Community's 1982 Statute of Autonomy and the Spanish Constitution officially recognize Valencian as the regional language.

List of Founder Knights

At the time of its foundation, the Order consisted of King Edward III, together with 25 Founder Knights, listed in ascending order of stall number in St George's Chapel: [7]

They are all depicted in individual portraits in the Bruges Garter Book made c. 1431, and now in the British Library.

Legendary origins

Statutes of the Order of the Garter Statutes of the Order of the Garter (Alexander III of Russia).jpg
Statutes of the Order of the Garter

Various legends account for the origin of the Order. The most popular involves the "Countess of Salisbury", whose garter is said to have slipped from her leg while she was dancing at a court ball at Calais. When the surrounding courtiers sniggered, the king picked it up and returned it to her, exclaiming, "Honi soit qui mal y pense!" ("Shame on him who thinks ill of it!"), the phrase that has become the motto of the Order. [1] [8] However, the earliest written version of this story dates from the 1460s, and it seems to have been conceived as a retrospective explanation for the adoption of what was then seen as an item of female underclothing as the symbol of a band of knights. In fact, at the time of the Order's establishment in the mid-14th century, the garter was predominantly an item of male attire. [9]

According to another legend, King Richard I was inspired in the 12th century by St George the Martyr while fighting in the Crusades to tie garters around the legs of his knights, who subsequently won the battle. King Edward supposedly recalled the event in the 14th century when he founded the Order. [4] This story is recounted in a letter to the Annual Register in 1774: [10]

In Rastel's Chronicle, I. vi. under the life of Edward III is the following curious passage: "About the 19 yere [sic] of this kinge, he made a solempne feest at Wyndesore, and a greate justes and turnament, where he devysed, and perfyted substanegally, the order of the knyghtes of the garter; howe be it some afferme that this order began fyrst by kynge Rycharde, Cure de Lyon, at the sege of the citye of Acres; where, in his great necessyte, there were but 26 knyghtes that fyrmely and surely abode by the kynge; where he caused all them to were thonges of blew leyther about theyr legges. And afterwarde they were called the knyghtes of the blew thonge." I am obliged for this passage to John Fenn, Esq; a curious and ingenious gentleman of East-Dereham, in Norfolk, who is in possession of the most rare book whence it is taken. Hence some affirm, that the origin of the garter is to be dated from Richard I* and that it owes its pomp and splendor to Edward III.

*Winstanley, in his Life of Edward III says that the original book of the institution deduces the invention from King Richard the First.

The motto in fact refers to Edward's claim to the French throne, and the Order of the Garter was created to help pursue this claim. [11] The use of the garter as an emblem may have derived from straps used to fasten armour, and may have been chosen because it held overtones of a tight-knit "band" or "bond" of knightly "supporters" of Edward's cause. [1] [12]

There is a connection between the Order of the Garter and the Middle English poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (late 14th century). The motto is inscribed, as hony soyt qui mal pence, at the end of the text in the sole surviving manuscript in the British Library, albeit in a later hand. [13] In the poem, a girdle, very similar in its erotic undertones to the garter, plays a prominent role. A rough equivalent of the Order's motto has been identified in Gawain's exclamation corsed worth cowarddyse and couetyse boþe ("cursed be both cowardice and coveting", v. 2374). [14] While the author of that poem remains disputed, there seems to be a connection between two of the top candidates and the Order of the Garter, John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, and Enguerrand de Coucy, seventh Sire de Coucy. De Coucy was married to King Edward III's daughter, Isabella, and was given admittance to the Order of the Garter on their wedding day." [15]

Ladies Companion of the Garter

Soon after the founding of the Order, women were appointed "Ladies of the Garter", but were not made companions. King Henry VII discontinued the practice in 1488; his mother, Margaret Beaufort, was the last Lady of the Garter before Queen Alexandra. Except for female sovereigns, the next Lady of the Garter named was Queen Alexandra, by her husband King Edward VII. King George V also made his consort, Queen Mary, a Lady of the Garter and King George VI subsequently did the same for his wife, Queen Elizabeth. Throughout the 20th century, women continued to be associated with the Order, but save for foreign female monarchs, they were not made companions. [16] In 1987, however, it became possible to install "Ladies Companion of the Garter" under a statute of Queen Elizabeth II. [17]

Composition

Knights Companion in the procession to St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle for the Garter Service Knights Companion of the Garter.JPG
Knights Companion in the procession to St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle for the Garter Service

Members

Membership in the Order is strictly limited and includes the Monarch, the Prince of Wales, not more than 24 companion members, and various supernumerary members. The monarch alone can grant membership. [18] He or she is known as the Sovereign of the Garter, and the Prince of Wales is known as a Royal Knight Companion of the Garter. [19]

Male members of the Order are titled "Knights Companion" and female members are called "Ladies Companion". Formerly, the Sovereign filled vacancies upon the nomination of the members. Each member would nominate nine candidates, of whom three had to have the rank of earl or higher, three the rank of baron or higher, and three the rank of knight or higher. The Sovereign would choose as many nominees as were necessary to fill any vacancies in the Order. He or she was not obliged to choose those who received the most nominations. Candidates were last nominated in 1860, and appointments have since been made by the Sovereign acting alone, with no prior nominations. The statutes prescribing the former procedure were not amended, however, until 1953. [20] :198

From the 18th century, the Sovereign made his or her choices on the advice of the Government. In 1946, with the agreement of Prime Minister Clement Attlee and Leader of the Opposition Winston Churchill, membership of the United Kingdom's highest ranking orders of chivalry (the Order of the Garter, the Order of the Thistle and the dormant Order of St. Patrick) became a personal gift of the Sovereign once again. [16] Thus, the Sovereign personally selects Knights and Ladies Companion of the Garter, and need not act on or solicit the advice of His or Her Government. [21]

Supernumerary members

Emperor Taisho in the robes of the Order of the Garter, as a consequence of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance Emperor Taisho the Order of the Garter.jpg
Emperor Taishō in the robes of the Order of the Garter, as a consequence of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance
Naser al-Din Shah Qajar and Queen Victoria in 1873 Naser kiss queen.jpg
Naser al-Din Shah Qajar and Queen Victoria in 1873

In addition, the Order includes supernumerary members, who do not count towards the limit of 24 companions. Several supernumerary members, known as "Royal Knights and Ladies of the Garter", belong to the royal family. These titles were introduced in 1786 by King George III so that his many sons would not count towards the limit on the number of companions. He created the statute of supernumerary members in 1805 so that any descendant of King George II could be installed as such a member. In 1831, this statute was extended again to include all descendants of King George I. [4]

With the installation of Emperor Alexander I of Russia in 1813, supernumerary membership was extended to foreign monarchs, who are known as "Stranger Knights and Ladies of the Garter". [22] Each such installation originally required the enactment of a statute; however, a 1954 statute authorises the regular admission of Stranger Knights or Ladies without further special enactments. [22]

Degradation of members

Henry Pelham-Clinton KG, 2nd Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme. Portrait by William Hoare in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Henry Fiennes Pelham-Clinton, 2nd Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne by William Hoare.jpg
Henry Pelham-Clinton KG, 2nd Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme. Portrait by William Hoare in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

The Sovereign may "degrade" members who have taken up arms against the Sovereign. From the late 15th century, there was a formal ceremony of degradation, in which Garter King of Arms, accompanied by the rest of the heralds, proceeded to St George's Chapel. While the Garter King of Arms read aloud the Instrument of Degradation, a herald climbed up a ladder and removed the former knight's banner, crest, helm, and sword, throwing them down into the quire. Then the rest of the heralds kicked them down the length of the chapel, out of the doors, and into the castle ditch. The last such formal degradation was that of James, Duke of Ormonde in 1716. [23]

During the First World War, two Royal Knights and six Stranger Knights, all monarchs or princes of enemy nations and including Wilhelm II, German Emperor, and Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria, were struck off the roll of the Order or had their appointments annulled in 1915. [22] The banner of Victor Emmanuel III of Italy was removed from the chapel after Italy entered World War II against the United Kingdom and her Allies. [24] The banner of Emperor Hirohito of Japan was removed from St George's Chapel when Japan entered World War II in 1941, but that banner and his knighthood were restored by Elizabeth II in 1971, when Hirohito made a state visit to the United Kingdom. The Emperor was particularly pleased by the restoration of his banner as a Knight of the Garter. [25]

Officers

Officers of the Order of the Garter (left to right): Secretary (barely visible), Black Rod, Garter Principal King of Arms, Register, Prelate, Chancellor. Officers of the Order of the Garter.JPG
Officers of the Order of the Garter (left to right): Secretary (barely visible), Black Rod, Garter Principal King of Arms, Register, Prelate, Chancellor.

The Order has six officers: the Prelate, the Chancellor, the Register, the Garter Principal King of Arms, the Usher, and the Secretary. [26] The offices of Prelate, Register, and Usher were created on the order's establishment; those of Garter Principal King of Arms and Chancellor, in the 15th century; and that of Secretary, in the 20th century. [27]

William of Edington, Bishop of Winchester, was the first Prelate of the Order, and that office has since been held by his successors at Winchester, traditionally a senior bishopric of the Church of England. [20] :105

The office of Chancellor is now held by one of the companions of the order. For most of its existence, the Bishop of Salisbury has held the office, although laymen held it from 1553 to 1671. In 1837, after boundary changes made Windsor Castle fall in the diocese of Oxford, the Chancellorship was transferred to the Bishop of Oxford. A century later, the Bishop of Salisbury challenged this transfer, on the grounds that the Chancellorship had been attached to his office regardless of the diocese in which the chapel of the order lay; and that, in any event, St George's Chapel, as a Royal Peculiar, was not under diocesan jurisdiction. The office of Chancellor was removed from the Bishop of Oxford (the outgoing bishop, Thomas Strong, had been outspoken in the abdication crisis of Edward VIII), and so it was withheld from his successor, Kenneth Kirk, and has since been held by one of the Knights Companion. [20] :109–112

The office of Register has been held by the Dean of Windsor since 1558. [20] :116 The Garter Principal King of Arms is ex officio the senior officer of the College of Arms (the heraldic authority of England), and is usually appointed from among the other officers of arms at the College. [20] :122 As the title suggests, Garter Principal King of Arms has specific duties as the Order's officer of arms, attending to the companions' crests and banners of arms, which are exhibited in the chapel. The Secretary, who acts as deputy to Garter in the ceremonial aspects of the Order, has since 1952 also been selected from the other officers of the College of Arms. [20] :143 The office of Usher is held by the Usher of the Black Rod, who is also the Serjeant-at-Arms of the United Kingdom House of Lords. [20] :132

Military Knights of Windsor

Military Knights of Windsor in the procession to the Garter Service Military Knights of Windsor.JPG
Military Knights of Windsor in the procession to the Garter Service

At the founding of the Order of the Garter, 26 "poor knights" were appointed and attached to the Order and its chapel. This number was not always maintained, and by the 17th century, there were only thirteen such knights. King Charles II increased the number to 18 (in large part because of funds allocated from Sir Francis Crane's will) after his coronation in 1660. After the knights objected to being termed "poor", King William IV redesignated them in the 19th century as the Military Knights of Windsor. [28]

The poor knights were impoverished military veterans, required to pray daily for the Knights Companion. In return, they received a salary and lodging in Windsor Castle. The knights are no longer necessarily poor, but are still military pensioners. They participate in the Order's processions, escorting the members, and in the chapel services. However, they are not considered members of the Order. [28]

The poor knights originally wore red mantles, each of which bore St George's Cross, but did not depict the Garter. Queen Elizabeth I replaced the mantles in the 16th and 17th centuries with blue and purple gowns, but the red mantles returned in the 17th century under King Charles I. When the knights were renamed, the mantles were abandoned. The military knights now wear the old military uniform of an "army officer on the unattached list": black trousers with red stripe, a red double-breasted swallow-tailed coat, gold epaulets and brushes, a cocked hat with a plume, and a sword on a white sash. [29]

Robes and insignia

Mantle and hat of the Order KG Mantle.jpg
Mantle and hat of the Order

Members

Order's ceremonial occasions

The garter of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria Order of the Garter of Franz Joseph I of Austria.jpg
The garter of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria

For the Order's ceremonial occasions, such as the annual Garter Day, the members wear elaborate vestments and accoutrements, which include:

  • The mantle is a vestment or robe worn by members since the 15th century. Once made of wool, by the 16th century it was made of velvet. The mantle was originally purple, but varied during the 17th and 18th centuries between celestial blue, pale blue, royal blue, dark blue, violet, and ultramarine. Mantles are now dark blue and lined with white taffeta. The mantles of the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and Royal Knights and Ladies end in trains. The heraldic shield of St. George's Cross encircled by the Garter is sewn onto the left shoulder of the mantle, but the Sovereign's mantle instead has the star of the Order. Attached to the mantle over the right shoulder are a dark red velvet hood and surcoat, which have lost all function over time and appear to the modern observer simply as a splash of colour. [29]
  • The hat is a Tudor bonnet of black velvet with a plume of white ostrich and black heron feathers. [29]
The insignia of a knight of the Order of the Garter Hosenbandorden.jpg
The insignia of a knight of the Order of the Garter
  • The collar is worn around the neck, over the mantle and is secured with white ribbons tied in bows on the shoulders. Like the mantle, it was introduced in the 15th and 16th centuries. Made of pure gold, it weighs 30 troy ounces (0.933 kg). The collar is composed of gold heraldic knots alternating with enamelled medallions, each showing a rose encircled by the Garter. During the reign of King Henry VII (1485–1509), commencing at the termination of the Wars of the Roses, each garter surrounded two roses – one red for the House of Lancaster and one white for the House of York – but he changed the design to encircle the Tudor rose [29] alone, a combination of both forms. [30] Today one of the most visible representations of the collar forms part of the monarch's heraldic achievement on the gates of Buckingham Palace. [31]
  • The Great George, which is worn suspended from the collar, is a colourfully enamelled (sometimes jewelled) three-dimensional figure of St. George the Martyr on horseback slaying a dragon. [29]
  • The Garter is worn on ceremonial occasions around the left calf [32] by knights and around the left arm by ladies, and is depicted on several insignia. The Garter is a buckled dark-blue (originally light-blue) velvet strap, and bears the motto in gold letters. The garters of Stranger Knights and Ladies were once set with several jewels. [29] Two styles have been used: one is a working garter where the end slips through the buckle and then is tucked in a specific way and the other style is a 'pre-made' one that has the buckled and tucked end pre-fashioned and is fastened with a clip attachment.

Up until the middle part of the 20th century, it was customary to wear Tudor style under-dress, consisting of white silk embroidered doublet, breeches, full hose, white doeskin pumps with satin bows and a sword belt with sword, under the robes. Nowadays, morning dress or a lounge suit is worn, except for coronations when Tudor under-dress is worn by the canopy-bearers. [33]

Other occasions

The Garter "Star" above, and "Great George" below (the knight on horseback) GarterInsigniaBurkes.JPG
The Garter "Star" above, and "Great George" below (the knight on horseback)
The Garter "Star" worn by king Charles XI of Sweden, late 17th century. Karl XIs ordensstjarna for riddare av Strumpebandsorden, 1668 - Livrustkammaren - 108770.tif
The Garter "Star" worn by king Charles XI of Sweden, late 17th century.

On other occasions when decorations are worn, the members wear simpler insignia:

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge wearing Garter Riband and Star William in uniform.jpg
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge wearing Garter Riband and Star
  • The collar is worn on designated collar days over military uniform or morning dress by members attending formal events. The collar is fastened to the shoulders with silk ribbons (or gold safety pins when worn with morning dress). Since the collar signifies the Order of the Garter, members can then wear the riband of any other order to which they belong. [29]
  • The star, which is worn pinned to the left breast, was introduced in the 17th century by King Charles I and is a colourfully enamelled depiction of the heraldic shield of St. George's Cross, encircled by the Garter, which is itself encircled by an eight-point silver badge. Each point is depicted as a cluster of rays, with the four points of the cardinal directions longer than the intermediate ones. The stars of Stranger Knights and Ladies were once set with several jewels. Since the Order of the Garter is the senior order of the United Kingdom, a member will wear its star above the others (up to three) that he or she holds. [29] There are examples in the Royal Collection of the stars of foreign orders given George V surrounded with the Garter, e.g. the Prussian Order of the Black Eagle given to George V when Prince of Wales. [34]
  • The riband is a four-inch (10.16 cm)-wide sash worn over the left shoulder, or pinned beneath it, to the right hip, and was introduced in the 17th century by King Charles I. The riband's colour has varied over the years: it was originally light blue, but was a dark shade under the Hanoverian monarchs. In 1950, the colour was fixed as "kingfisher blue". A member will wear only one riband, even if he or she belongs to several orders. [29]
  • The badge is worn suspended from a small gold link from the riband at the right hip, and is sometimes known as "the Lesser George". Like the Great George, the badge shows St. George the Martyr on horseback slaying a dragon, but it is flatter and gold. In earlier times, the badge was worn from a ribbon tied around the neck. [29]

On the death of a member, the Lesser George and breast star are returned personally to the Sovereign by the former member's nearest male relative, and the other insignia to the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, save the riband, mantle and hat. [29]

Officers

For ceremonial occasions of the Order, the officers wear the following garments and accessories:

The chancellor carries a purse, which is embroidered with the royal arms impaled by the Cross of St. George. The purse contains the seal of the Order. Garter Principal King of Arms carries his baton of office. The usher carries their staff of office, the Black Rod. [29]

Chapel

Banners of the members of the order in St. George's Chapel Castell de Windsor - Capella de Sant Jordi.JPG
Banners of the members of the order in St. George's Chapel

St George's Chapel in Windsor is the mother church of the Order of the Garter, and the location of special services in relation to the order. [35]

During their lifetime, all members of the Order of the Garter are entitled to display their heraldic crests and banners in St. George's Chapel. While the Garter stall plates (see below) stay in the chapel permanently, the crests and banners of deceased knights are, following presentation at the High Altar, removed from the chapel. Sometimes they are then given to institutions that were connected with the late knight, or kept privately depending on family wishes. [36] Originally after a knight's death, the crests became the property of Garter King of Arms, and these crests have been the subject of occasional exhibitions in the Earl Marshal's Court at the College of Arms.

Garter stall plates are small enamelled and engraved brass plates located in St George's Chapel as memorials to Knights of the Garter. [35]

Investiture and installation

Edward VII invests Haakon VII of Norway with the insignia of the Order of the Garter in the Throne Room of Windsor Castle, November 1906. Painting by Sydney Prior Hall. Order of the Garter investiture of King Haakon VII of Norway, by Sydney Prior Hall.jpg
Edward VII invests Haakon VII of Norway with the insignia of the Order of the Garter in the Throne Room of Windsor Castle, November 1906. Painting by Sydney Prior Hall.

Each June, on Garter Day, the members of the Order, wearing their habits and garter insignia, meet at Windsor Castle. When any new Knights of the Garter are due for installation, an investiture ceremony is held in the Throne Room of Windsor Castle on the morning of Garter Day. [37] This ceremony is attended by all Knights Companions of the order, wearing the ceremonial habits and garter insignia, and also by their wives. The wording of the oath sworn by the new knights at this ceremony and of the Admonitions addressed to them in turn by the prelate and chancellor of the order when the several items of insignia are placed upon them are extremely similar to the traditions of the past. [38] [39]

At the investiture ceremony, two senior knights of the order assist the Sovereign by placing the garter around the left leg of the new knight and in the fastening of the riband and Lesser George about the body of the new knight, and in the adjustment of the mantle and the collar. [40] After the investiture ceremony at Windsor is concluded, a state luncheon is held in the Banqueting Room. This is attended by the royal family, by all the Companions of the Order and their spouses, and by the Officers of the Order. After the banquet all the knights and ladies of the order, together with the prelate, chancellor and other officers of the order, in their mantles and ceremonial robes, led by the Military Knights of Windsor, move in procession, watched by a great crowd of spectators, through the castle, down the hill, which is lined with troops, to Saint George's Chapel for a worship service, before which the formal installation of the new knights takes place. [41]

While knights continued to be invested with their ensigns, the formal installation of knights at St George's Chapel ceased in 1805. Installation, along with the annual Garter service, returned in 1948; [42] on the occasion of the order's 600th anniversary. [43]

Precedence and privileges

Members of the order may encircle their heraldic arms with the Garter. Member of the Garter - Non Arms.svg
Members of the order may encircle their heraldic arms with the Garter.

Members are assigned positions in the order of precedence, coming before all others of knightly rank, and above baronets. The wives, sons, daughters and daughters-in-law of Knights Companion are also assigned precedence. Relatives of Ladies Companion are not, however, assigned any special positions. (Generally, individuals can derive precedence from their fathers or husbands, but not from their wives.) The Chancellor is also assigned precedence, but since 1837 the office has been held by a diocesan bishop of the Church of England or a peer, who have a higher precedence than that bestowed by the Chancellorship. [44]

Knights Companion prefix "Sir" [45] and Ladies Companion prefix "Lady" to their forenames. [46] Wives of Knights Companion may prefix "Lady" to their surnames, but no corresponding privilege exists for husbands of Ladies Companion. [47] Such forms are not used by royalty, peers, peeresses, or Anglican clergymen, who instead use only the post-nominal letters. [45]

Knights and Ladies Companion use the post-nominal letters "KG" and "LG" respectively. [21] When an individual is entitled to use multiple post-nominal letters, those of the Order of the Garter appear before all others, except "Bt" or "Bart" (Baronet), "VC" (Victoria Cross) and "GC" (George Cross). [48]

In their heraldic achievements, members of the Order of the Garter may encircle their escutcheon with the Garter. [49] Knights and Ladies Companion are also entitled to receive heraldic supporters, a privilege granted to few other private individuals. While some families claim supporters by ancient use, and others have been granted them as a special reward, only members of the Royal Family, peers, Knights and Ladies Companion of the Garter, Knights and Ladies of the Thistle, and Knights and Dames Grand Cross of the junior orders of chivalry are automatically entitled to them. [49]

Garter banners in St George's Chapel

Armorial

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 "College of St George – Windsor Castle – The Order of the Garter". College of St George – Windsor Castle. Archived from the original on 15 July 2017. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  2. "Prince William to join Britain's most exclusive club as Knight of the Garter". Daily Mail. UK. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
  3. 1 2 Cokayne, George Edward, ed. (1887). Complete peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, extant, extinct or dormant (A to Bo). 1 (1st ed.). London: George Bell & Sons. p. 276.
  4. 1 2 3 Chisholm 1911 , pp. 851–867
  5. Rogers 2018, pp. 131–34.
  6. II 85 (Joanot Martorell – trad. R. La Fontaine, Tirant lo Blanc, New York, 1993, pp. 163–166.).
  7. Beltz 1841, pp. cxlix–cl.
  8. Harrison, James (1996). "The Plantagenets". Children's Encyclopedia of British History (Rev., reformatted and updated ed.). London: Kingfisher. p. 46. ISBN   1-85696-026-9.
  9. Rogers 2018, pp. 126–31.
  10. "On the Origin of the Order of the Garter; from the Supplement to Granger's Biographical History". The Annual Register . 17: 145. December 1774.
  11. Rogers 2018, pp. 134–38.
  12. Rogers 2018, pp. 139–44.
  13. Cotton Nero A.x 128v
  14. Friedman, Albert B.; Osberg, Richard H. (1997). "Gawain's Girdle as Traditional Symbol". The Journal of American Folklore. American Folklore Society. 90 (157): 301–315. doi:10.2307/539521. JSTOR   539521.
  15. Savage, Henry L. (1938). "Sir Gawain and the Order of the Garter". ELH. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 5 (2): 146–149. doi:10.2307/2871614. JSTOR   2871614.
  16. 1 2 "The Monarchy Today – Queen and Public – Honours – The Order of the Garter". The Royal Household. Archived from the original on 14 June 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  17. Waddington, Raymond B. (1993). "Elizabeth I and the Order of the Garter". Sixteenth Century Journal. The Sixteenth Century Journal. 24 (1): 97–113. doi:10.2307/2541800. JSTOR   2541800.
  18. Gay, Oonagh (20 March 2006). "Honours Standard Note: SN/PC/2832" (PDF). United Kingdom Parliament. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 October 2006. Retrieved 7 November 2006.
  19. "College of St George – Windsor Castle – Orders of Chivalry". College of St George – Windsor Castle. Archived from the original on 19 February 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  20. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Begent, P.J.; Chesshyre, H. (1999). The Most Noble Order of the Garter: 650 Years. London: Spink and Son. ISBN   1-902040-20-1.
  21. 1 2 "Select Committee on Public Administration Fifth Report". UK Parliament. 13 July 2004. Retrieved 8 November 2006.
  22. 1 2 3 "Royal Insight: June 2004: Focus: The Order of the Garter". The Royal Household. June 2004. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
  23. Peter J Begent, The Most Noble Order of the Garter, its History and Ceremonial
  24. David Kemp "The Pleasures and Treasures of Britain: A Discerning Traveller's Companion" p.141
  25. Kingston, Jeff. "The Tokyo envoys: Englishmen in Japan," The Japan Times (Tokyo); 13 March 2005 Archived 4 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  26. Knight, Charles (1811). "9". Guide to Windsor.
  27. "The origin and history of the various heraldic offices". The College of Arms. Archived from the original on 29 July 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2006.
  28. 1 2 "College of St George – Windsor Castle – Military Knights". College of St George – Windsor Castle. Archived from the original on 10 May 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  29. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Cox, Noel (1999). "The ceremonial dress and accoutrements of the Most Noble Order of the Garter". Heraldry News, the Journal of Heraldry. Journal of Heraldry Australia Inc. (22): 6–12. Archived from the original on 20 April 2003.
  30. See for example the single roses on the collar of the effigy of Robert Willoughby, 1st Baron Willoughby de Broke, KG (died 1502) in Callington Church, Cornwall (see image File:RobertWilloughbyCallington.jpg)
  31. See imageFile:Buckingham Palace - 02.jpg
  32. The Garter is worn over and above the left strap of the dress breeches of men but nowadays it is anachronistically worn over the trousers because the wearing of court dress for by most Garter Knights has fallen into disuse.
  33. Una Campbell (1989), Robes of the Realm: 300 Years of Ceremonial Dress. Michael O'Mara Books. p.21.
  34. "- Order of the Black Eagle (Prussia). George Vs star with garter". www.royalcollection.org.uk. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  35. 1 2 "The Order of the Garter". royal.uk. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  36. Garter Banner List (online) Archived 23 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine , accessed 12 October 2015
  37. "The Order of the Garter". The Royal Household. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  38. Encyclopaedia Heraldica Or Complete Dictionary of Heraldry, Volume 1, William Berry, Google eBook
  39. Research guides No.1: The Order of the Garter, "Oath", St George's Chapel Archives and Chapter Library
  40. The British Herald, or Cabinet of armorial bearings of the nobility and gentry of Great Britain & Ireland, Thomas Robson, Google eBook, 1830 p. 96.
  41. The Queen's Orders of Chivalry, Brigadier Sir Ivan De la Bere, Spring Books, London, 1964, p. 85.
  42. "Garter Banner List". Dean & Canons of Windsor. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  43. "Order of the Garter Timeline" (PDF). The Companion: The magazine for the College of St George (21): 3. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 September 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  44. Mosley, Charles (2005). "Precedence". Burke's Peerage and Gentry. Archived from the original on 28 September 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2008.
  45. 1 2 "Knight". Forms of Address. Debretts. Archived from the original on 25 August 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  46. "Ladies of the Garter and Ladies of the Thistle". Forms of Address. Debretts. Archived from the original on 21 August 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  47. "Dame". Forms of Address. Debretts. Archived from the original on 7 August 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  48. "Order of Wear". The UK Honours System. Cabinet Office. Archived from the original on 30 January 2006. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  49. 1 2 Courtenay, Paul. "The Armorial Bearings of Sir Winston Churchill". The Churchill Centre. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  50. Princess Beatrix's Garter banner has retained her arms as monarch.
  51. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Stranger Knights and Ladies do not do not embellish the arms they use in their countries with British decorations.

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References

Further reading