Saturday, January 01, 2022

Garter for the Duchess of Cornwall

 It was announced on 1 January, 2022, that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is to become a Royal Lady of the Most Noble of the Garter. It is likely that the duchess will be invested at St George's Chapel, Windsor, in June.

The appointment of Camilla to England's highest order of chivalry is a clear indication of the Queen's trust and confidence in her daughter-in-law. No wife of an heir to the throne has been so honoured in modern times. Recent tradition has seen the honour bestowed only on the Queen Consort.

In 1901 King Edward VII broke with tradition and gave the Garter to his wife, Queen Alexandra, in the days immediately after succeeding to the throne. Edward's son, King George V followed his father's example, and gave the Garter to his wife Queen Mary, when he succeeded to the throne in 1910. King George VI in turn bestowed the honour upon his Queen, the former Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, when he succeeded his brother following the abdication in 1936.

Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, later Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was given the Garter on the eve of his marriage to the then Princess Elizabeth, in November, 1947. Camilla's honour comes almost 17 years after her marriage to the Prince of Wales.

This mark of the Queen's favour comes six years after she appointed Camilla to the Privy Council, also an unprecedented move. It is believed that the Queen honoured her daughter-in-law in order to ensure that Camilla would be be enabled to attend an Accession Council, and thereby present to see her husband take the oath as King following the Queen's death.

'Garter Day' in June ususally precedes the start of Royal Ascot. Camilla will join the ranks of royal Knights/ladies, including the Princess Royal, appointed in 1994, and the Queen's cousin, Princess Alexandra, appointed in 2003, the Dukes of Kent, Gloucester, York and Cambridge, and the the Earl of Wessex and Forfar. Prince Harry, a Knight of the Royal Victorian Order, is not a KG.

It has not been announced whether the Duchess of Cornwall will use the postnominals LG [for Lady of the Garter] or KG [for Knight of the Garter]. The Princess Royal and Princess Alexandra chose to use 'KG'.


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