The Queen attends the Garter Day service at Windsor Castle

The Queen is joined by Charles, William and Camilla for the annual Garter Day service as huge crowds watch a stunning display of pomp and ceremony in the sunshine at Windsor Castle

  • The Queen was joined by other senior royals as she led celebrations at the annual Order of the Garter today
  • Her Majesty arrived by chauffeur-driven limousine while other royals walked through the castle grounds
  • Among senior royals to accompany the Queen was her son the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge
  • The ceremony is part of a 700-year tradition and honours those who have been knighted for public service

The Queen has been joined by other senior royals as she led celebrations at the annual Order of the Garter today.

Her Majesty arrived at the chapel by state limousine while the majority of members of the order, including the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge, processed through the grounds of the castle to the event. 

Wearing velvet robes and a plumed hat, the Queen, who is sovereign of the order, waved from her chauffeur-driven car to the waiting crowds outside Windsor Castle, where just one month ago her beloved grandson Prince Harry married Meghan Markle.

Today’s ceremony is part of a 700-year tradition founded by Edward III in 1348, and honours those who have been knighted in recognition of their public service.

Knights of the Garter are chosen personally by the Sovereign to honour those who have held public office, who have contributed in a particular way to national life or who have served the Sovereign personally.

The Queen (pictured arriving in her chauffeur-driven car) has been joined by other senior royals as she led celebrations at the annual Order of the Garter today


Her Majesty was joined by her son Prince Charles and grandson Prince William (left) to take part in the 700-year-old tradition, as did Princess Anne (shown right)

Her Majesty arrived at the chapel by state limousine while the majority of members of the order processed through the grounds of the castle to the event


Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrives to attend the Most Noble Order of the Garter Ceremony at St George’s Chapel, where she was joined by the Queen’s daughter Princess Anne

Adoring crowds waited patiently in the sun this afternoon for the official ceremony to start and for the arrival of Her Majesty

The Queen and Prince Charles, as sovereign and heir, are automatically given membership of the Order and are considered ‘ex officio knights’ with the power to admit new members.

Two appointments are being made in today’s ceremony, due to two current vacancies in the order following the deaths of Sir Ninian Stephen and Sir William Gladstone since the previous ceremony in 2017.

Lady Companion, Dame Mary Fagan, and a Knight Companion, The Viscount Brookeborough, will be invested with the Order’s insignia by the Queen.  

Dame Mary Fagan, DCVO served as Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire between 1994 and 2014 and was also Chancellor of the University of Winchester from 2006 until 2014.


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Alan Henry Brooke, 3rd Viscount Brookeborough has served as Personal Lord in Waiting to The Queen since 1997 and has been Lord Lieutenant of Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland since 2012. 

He served with HM Armed Forces between 1971 and 1994, with 17th/21st Lancers, the Ulster Defence Regiment and the Royal Irish Regiment.

The Garter is open to British and Commonwealth citizens, with former Prime Minister Sir John Major and Lord Sainsbury numbered among the 23 current members.

Field Marshall, the Lord Bramall, a former Chief of the Defence Staff, the Duke of Abercorn, the Duke of Westminster and Baroness Manningham-Buller, the former Director-General of MI5, are also Knights of the Garter.

There are also two orders of ‘extra’ knights. Members of the Royal Knights and Ladies include Prince Philip, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Prince Charles, the Princess Royal and Prince William.

Prince Charles, in his role as a Royal Knight Companion of the Garter and Prince William, whose role is a Knight Companion


Members of the Royal Knights and Ladies include Prince Philip, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Prince Charles, the Princess Royal and Prince William (pictured with his father)

The Queen and Prince Charles, as sovereign and heir, are automatically given membership of the Order and are considered ‘ex officio knights’ with the power to admit new members

A ROYAL HONOUR: THE HISTORY OF THE ORDER OF THE GARTER 

Recognised: Sir Winston Churchill was a Knight of the Garter

The Order of the Garter is the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain, established by King Edward III nearly 700 years ago.

Knights of the Garter are chosen personally by the Sovereign to honour those who have held public office, who have contributed in a particular way to national life or who have served the Sovereign personally. 

As sovereign and heir, The Queen and Prince Charles are automatically given membership of the Order and are considered ‘ex officio knights’. The Prince of Wales is known as a Royal Knight Companion of the Garter. 

The sovereign, known as the Sovereign of the Garter, is the only one with the power to admit new members. 

The Garter is open to British and Commonwealth citizens. Notable former members include Sir Winston Churchill, Stanley Baldwin and Sir Edmund Hillary.

Field Marshall, the Lord Bramall, a former Chief of the Defence Staff, the Duke of Abercorn, the Duke of Westminster and Baroness Manningham-Buller, the former Director-General of MI5, are among the current Knights and Ladies of the Garter.

There are also two orders of ‘extra’ knights. Members of the Royal Knights and Ladies include Prince Philip, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Prince Charles, the Princess Royal and Prince William.

A second order, the Stranger Knights and Ladies, is bestowed on foreign rulers such as Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Harald V of Norway.

Although new additions are named on St. George’s Day, the 23 April, the initiation ceremony takes place in Junmantle during the traditional Garter Procession, which sees members parade through Windsor.

The annual iconic Garter Day procession, where The Queen and the Knights process in grand velvet robes, glistening insignia and plumed hats, is one of the most traditional ceremonies in the Queen’s calendar.

Every June, a grand procession of the knights takes place at Windsor Castle, accompanied by a marching band and Officers of the Order, all in grand ceremonial dress.

The day begins with The Queen formally investing any new Companions with the Order’s insignia in the Throne Room of the Castle. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh entertain the members and officers at a lunch, and then all process on foot to a service in St. George’s Chapel. 

There is a short service where any new Companions are installed. The Sovereign and other members of the Order then return to the Upper Ward of the castle in carriages and cars.

The Queen, who is sovereign of the order, arrived at the chapel by state limousine while the majority of members of the order, including the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge, processed through the grounds of the castle to the event

The Duchess of Cornwall (left) and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, (right) looked resplendent in their A-line dresses and bespoke hats 

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (front left), Princess Anne, Princess Royal (front right), Prince Andrew, Duke of York (centre), Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (back left) and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (back right)

The Order of the Garter is the senior and oldest British Order of Chivalry, founded by Edward III in 1348. The Garter ceremonial dates from 1948, when formal installation was revived by King George VI for the first time since 1805. Pictured, the royals marching through Windsor ahead of the ceremony

Guards of the Blues and Royals regiment and the military band march around the crowds waiting for Royal family and The Knights of the Garter to arrive

The Order of the Garter is the senior and oldest British Order of Chivalry, founded by Edward III in 1348. The Garter ceremonial dates from 1948, when formal installation was revived by King George VI for the first time since 1805

Today, the Order includes the Queen, who is Sovereign of the Garter, several senior Members of the Royal Family, and twenty-four knights chosen in recognition of their work

Every June, a grand procession of the knights takes place at Windsor Castle, accompanied by a marching band and Officers of the Order, all in grand ceremonial dress

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