Order of the Garter Ceremony

The present day ceremonial dates from the Order's 600th anniversary in 1948. New appointments to the Order are usually announced on St George's Day (23rd April), but the investiture ceremonies take place in June, on the Monday of Royal Ascot week.

The Queen invests new Companions with the insignia (a broad riband worn over the shoulder, a star and a collar) at a Chapter of the Order in the Throne Room of Windsor Castle. This is followed by a luncheon hosted by The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in the Waterloo Chamber for all the Companions and officers of the Order. After lunch, in fine weather, the entire company - dressed in full ceremonial robes - processes on foot, marshalled by the Officers of Arms, and led by the Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle, and the Military Knights of Windsor, through the Upper, Middle and Lower Wards of the Castle to St George's Chapel.

The habit of the Order includes a Garter of dark blue velvet, edged with gold, bearing the motto, Honi soit qui mal y pense (shame on him who thinks this evil), which is worn by men below the left knee and by ladies on the left arm. The mantle is of dark blue velvet lined with white taffeta, a hood of crimson velvet, and a hat of black velvet with a plume of white ostrich feathers. The golden collar consists of 24 pieces, each in the form of a Garter surrounding the Tudor Rose, connected by 24 knots of chased gold, and from it is suspended the George (the figure of St George and the Dragon in gold and enamel).

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