Last night, The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh attended Evensong at Hampton Court Palace, celebrating 100 years of the Companions of Honour.
Evensong – an afternoon service of prayer, usually set to music – took place in the Chapel Royal at the Tudor and Baroque palace, to mark the centenary of the order, founded on 4th June 1917 by George V.
The Companion of Honour is a special award granted to those who have made a major contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government lasting over a long period of time. The members, of which there are 65 at any one time. Current members include Sir David Attenborough, Dame Judi Dench, Sir John Major and Dame Maggie Smith; they may use the letters ‘CH’ after their names.
The motto of the order is “In action faithful and in honour clear”.
It is sometimes regarded as the junior honour to the Order of Merit, but many famous names form the prestigious group.
The Queen & The Duke process into an Evensong service at The Chapel Royal before a reception with members of The Order. pic.twitter.com/JtniWHl0FC
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 13, 2017
Following the service in Henry VIII’s sumptuous chapel, the group posed for an official picture with The Queen and Duke in The Queen’s Presence Chamber, before attending a drinks reception.
The Chapel Royal was once Henry VIII’s place of worship, and usually displays a recreation of the King’s crown in the royal gallery. Following the Commonwealth republic of Oliver Cromwell, it was restored with its blue vaulted ceiling, plus a baroque altar piece and wall panel.
L-R top: Reverend Anthony Howe, Reverend Richard Chartres, Evelyn Glennie, Baroness Warnock, Baroness Amos, Harry Woolf, Robert Smith, Baron Smith of Kelvin, George Osborne, Richard Eyre, reverend Paul Wright, Lt Col Michael Vernon | L-R middle: David Young, Baron Young of Graffham, Maggie Smith, Menzies Campbell, Sebastian Coe, Michael Howard, Dan McKenzie, General John De Chastelain, John Major, David Hannay, Baron Hannay of Chiswick, Judi Dench, George Young, Baron Young of Cookham, Thomas Galbraith, 2nd Baron Strathclyde, Mary Peters, Roy Strong. |L-R front: Roger Bannister, Chris Patten, David Attenborough, Janet Baker, Peter Brooke, Norman Tebbit, The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, Kenneth Baker, Tom King, David Owen, Michael Heseltine and Bridget Riley
Her Majesty received a posy of flowers from Head Chorister of the Chapel Royal Choir, Angus Whitworth, looking in high spirits after the service.
Both The Queen and Prince Philip earlier recreated Queen Victoria’s historic first journey on a train, travelling from Slough to Paddington.