Next Monday, 17 June 2013, sees this year's Garter Day Ceremony at Windsor Castle.
|Garter Day, 1948|
At the same time, the order was reinstated as the personal gift of the monarch - it had previously been an appointment made on the advice of ministers.
The ceremony now customarily takes place in June - for some reason the first day of Royal Ascot Week (presumably on the basis that most members would therefore be within traveling distance of Windsor!).
As we have seen, new members are named on St George's Day - this year there only being one, Lord Stirrup. The Queen formally invests new companions of the order with the insignia in the Throne Room of Windsor Castle. The insignia are proffered by the Garter King of Arms, the Usher of the Order (better known as Black Rod) and the Secretary of the Order. The admonitions addressed to the new companions are in turn read by the prelate (always the Bishop of Winchester) and chancellor (currently the Duke of Abercorn) of the order. These admonitions and oaths date back at least as far as Henry VIII's time, probably even further. Two senior knights will assist in the vesting of the new knight.
Afterwards the Queen entertains the members and officers of the order, with their spouses, at a lunch in the Waterloo Chamber. A group photo will be taken.
After lunch the Knights process on foot to a service in St. George's Chapel, wearing their blue velvet mantels, and black velvet hats with white plumes. The processional route is through the Upper, Middle and Lower Wards of the castle to St. George's Chapel. The procession is led by the Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle and the Military Knights of Windsor.
|Crests and Banners of the KGs - the kiwi with the |
ice axe is that of Sir Edmund Hiliary
|A Knight of the Garter in full fig|
After the service, the members of the order return to the Upper Ward by carriage, presumably for tea and buns.
|Garter insignia, temp Charles I|