Garter Day 2015 – Windsor Castle

Yesterday senior members of the Royal Family and Knights of the Garter attended Garter Day at Windsor Castle, spiritual home of The Most Noble Order of the Garter

Editor, Chloe, was in Upper Ward at Engine Court for the processions and saw the day first-hand.



The Band of The Household Cavalry and Irish Guards provided a musical distraction prior to the ceremony.

Household Guards lined the procession route, which the Knights and Royals walked through, down to St George’s Chapel, where the service takes place. The Royal Limousines arrived at the State Apartments in the Quadrangle, and took The Duchess of Cornwall, Countess of Wessex and Duchess of Gloucester there ahead of their husbands, all of whom are Knight Companions.

This signals the Knights will be leaving imminently; they leave the State Apartments in ascending order of precedence, the most recently created Knights and Ladies first and Her Majesty and The Duke of Edinburgh come last.


The procession goes past the crowds gathered in the castle to see the annual spectacle, in which the Knights don their dark blue mantles and caps with plumage, the ‘uniform’ of the Order.

The service begins when The Queen has been seated in the Chapel, beginning with a rendition of the National Anthem.

Speakers play the service to the area outside the Chapel for the public to listen to. A Te Deum, a declaration of thanks to God, follows, as do prayers for the Order and The Queen. The short service is mostly made up of hymns and prayers.

The Order was created by Edward III in 1384, and it was George VI that revived the procession at Windsor. The Sovereign alone can grant membership, which is strictly limited to 24 Knights plus The Queen (or King) and Prince of Wales.

When it is finished, The Queen and Prince Philip leave the Chapel first, and get into an open carriage for their ride back to the State Apartments. The Royal Knights and their partners also ride in carriages, with the standard companions travelling back in cars.


Cheers rang out all along the pathway back to Upper Ward, with waving and applause breaking out too, as Garter Day is one of the few times the public can get this close to the Royal Family, as well as it being held within a Royal Palace.

The Duchess of Cambridge was absent yesterday, despite attending Trooping the Colour on Saturday, and so Camilla and Sophie travelled together.


Photos: Thomas Mace-Archer-Mills 2015

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