King Charles makes royal appointments on St George’s Day

Catherine and Birgitte are amongst the recipients to various chivalric orders

On St George’s Day, The King has given members of the Royal Family new appointments, including The Princess of Wales, and Queen Camilla.

All appointments are effective immediately.

Charles and Camilla at the Garter Day service at Windsor Castle, in 2022. Picture by Stephen Lock / i-Images

The Order of the Garter

His Majesty has made four new appointments to the Order of the Garter, which are personal gifts of the Monarch:

– The Duchess of Gloucester has become a Royal Lady Companion
– Air Chief Marshal the Lord Peach has been made a Knight Companion (Peach was NATO’s most senior military officer and the Military Adviser to the Secretary General and the North Atlantic Council. In addition, he was the UK’s most senior serving officer.)
– The Right Honourable the Lord Kakkar, KBE, has become a Knight Companion (a professor of surgery at University College London and is also on the Board of Trustees at The King’s Fund.)
– The Lord Lloyd-Webber has become a Knight Companion. (A composer and impresario of musical theatre, who composed an anthem for the Coronation)

The Order was founded by Edward III in 1348 and regarded as the most prestigious British order of chivalry.

Being the highest-ranking Order of chivalry in the country, members are selected from the ‘great and the good’ – often individuals who have served the nation or Commonwealth at the highest level, such as former Prime Ministers, leaders in the fields of science, the arts, business or the military, alongside members of the Royal Family.

The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duchess of Cambridge visit Trinity Buoy Wharf, a training site for arts and culture in London, on the 3rd February 2022. Picture by James Whatling

The Order of the Companions of Honour

The King has appointed his daughter-in-law, The Princess of Wales to be Royal Companion of The Order of the Companions of Honour.

Avid royal watchers will notice this is the first time a member of the Royal Family has ever been appointed to the Companions of Honour, and clearly reflects how highly His Majesty sees his daughter-in-law carrying out her royal duties.

The appointment is not made directly by The King, but is made by the Cabinet Office on his recommendation. It was thought the appointment was a ‘thank you’ to Catherine for her service to the Crown, but also acknowledges her contribution to the arts, being Patron of The Royal Photographic Society and The National Portrait Gallery.

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The Order of the Companions of Honour was founded by King George V in 1917 to recognise outstanding achievements in the Arts, Sciences, Medicine and Public Service. Members of the Order are limited to 65 at a time, with current members including David Attenborough, Elton John, Anna Wintour, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.

The Order of the Bath

The Prince of Wales has been appointed by his father to be Great Master of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath. The role has not been filled since Charles took the throne. Charles, as Prince of Wales, held the role from 1974 to 2022.

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath was established by George I in 1725, but is believed to originally date back as far as the 8th century. It is awarded to members of the military or civil service for exemplary service.

The Coronation of King Charles III – Charles and Camilla wave from the balcony at Buckingham Palace

The Order of The British Empire

The final appointment goes to Queen Camilla, where His Majesty has appointed her to be Grand Master and First (or Principal) Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

The Order of the British Empire was established by King George V in 1917 to honour a broader cross section of society, both military and civilian, with numerous ranks.

Previous Grand Masters have included The Duke of Edinburgh (1953-2021), Queen Mary (1936-1953) and George VI as Prince of Wales (1917-1936).

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