23.04.

1348: The Highest English Order of Chivalry – The Order of the Garter

1348: The Highest English Order of Chivalry – The Order of the Garter
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 23 April 1348
  • Members of the Order meet regularly once a year at the headquarters of the Order - St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. The flags of all current knights of the Order are hung in that chapel. The Order, with the motto "Honi soit qui mal y pense" (Evil unto him who thinks evil of it), is always present on the British Monarch’s coat of arms.

The highest English order of chivalry – the Order of the Garter – was founded on this day in 1348.

Specifically, St George’s Day falls on that day, and he is the patron of the Order and the whole of England (the English flag has the red cross of St. George on a white background). The Order was named after the garter worn by its members on their left leg, below the knee.

The Order of the Garter was founded by King Edward III and originally consisted of 26 knights (aka Founder Knights).

Today, the Order is one of the most respected in the world and has a strictly limited membership. Members may be appointed only by a British monarch and there can be up to 24 of them simultaneously.

Lord Carrington and John Major are among the best-known of its members today, but foreign rulers Japanese Emperor Akihito and Spanish King Juan Carlos are also among its bearers.

Members of the Order meet regularly once a year at the headquarters of the Order – St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The flags of all current knights of the Order are hung in that chapel.

The Order, with the motto “Honi soit qui mal y pense” (Evil unto him who thinks evil of it), is always present on the British Monarch’s coat of arms, and the Knights Companions are recognized by a light blue sash and a luxurious star on the left side of their uniform.

On ceremonial occasions, the knights wear long robes and hats with feathers. Not long ago, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, was also declared a Knight Companion of the Garter.

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