What is Garter Day 2022: When is it and will Prince Andrew and the Queen attend?

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What is Garter Day 2022: When is it and will Prince Andrew and the Queen attend?
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Garter Day is a centuries old tradition, that returns to Windsor Castle for the first time in three years, today, Monday June 13.

The Order of the Garter service has not been held in person since 2019, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The order is the senior and oldest British Order of Chivalry, and it was founded by Edward III in 1348. The order was established at the time to commemorate an incident in which Edward was dancing, when one of his partner’s blue garters dropped to the floor.

The service has been held every year for 70 years, since

Here’s everything you need to know:

What is Garter Day?

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Britain's Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex arrive at St George's Chapel (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Britain's Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex arrive at St George's Chapel (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Garter Day consists of the annual Order of the Garter ceremony, where the Queen and Knights process in grand velvet robes, with glistening insignia and plumed hats, as well as gold and jewels.

The day sees Queen Elizabeth II lead a procession at Windsor Castle ahead of her Knights.

The Royal Family attend the service, and, according to the royal family’s website:  “The Knights, now both male and female, used to be limited to aristocracy, but today they are chosen from a variety of backgrounds, in recognition for their public service.”

There are 24 spaces for Knights or Ladies Companion in the Order. Currently, just 20 of these spaces are filled.

It is one of the most traditional ceremonies in the Queen’s calendar, and it takes place every June.

The grand procession of the knights takes place at Windsor Castle, and is accompanied by a marching band and Officers of the Order, all kitted out in grand ceremonial dress.

Every year, the day begins with the Queen formally investing any new Companions with the Order’s insignia in the Throne Room of Windsor Castle.

Though some members are appointed in recognition of their dedication to public services, there are also honorary members in the form of royals in the UK and abroad.

When is Garter Day 2022?

Prince Charles and Camilla attend Garter Day celebrations in Windsor Castle (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Prince Charles and Camilla attend Garter Day celebrations in Windsor Castle (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Garter Day 2022 takes place on Monday, June 11.

Will Prince Andrew and the Queen attend this year?

The Duchess of Cambridge and (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge and (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Buckingham Palace have confirmed that Prince Andrew will not attend this year’s Garter Day celebrations, after he was said to have hoped to have made a rare appearance at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

However, he will attend a private lunch and ceremony, investing new members of the Order of the Garter.

It is understood that the decision for Andrew, whose reputation was severely tarnished by his involvement in a civil sex lawsuit, not to take part publically in Garter Day was a “family decision”.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “The Duke of York will attend the investiture and lunch today but will not be part of the procession or service.”

The Queen will attend, but is unlikely to appear in public parts of the ceremony, in Windsor.

Who are the current royal members of the Order?

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, second left, and Britain’s Anne, Princess Royal, center right, walk in the procession to St George’s Chapel for the Order of the Garter service at Windsor Castle (AP)
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, second left, and Britain’s Anne, Princess Royal, center right, walk in the procession to St George’s Chapel for the Order of the Garter service at Windsor Castle (AP)

Currently, the Royal Knights and Ladies Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter include the Queen’s cousins Prince Edward, Princess Alexandra, and and Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester.

The Queen’s four children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward, have also been appointed to the Order during the Queen’s reign.

Charles became Royal Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter in 1958, the same year he was granted the Prince of Wales title.

The Queen’s grandson and future king, Prince William, was made a royal Knight in 2008. He was also the 1,000th knight ever created.

This year, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will be formally acknowledged as a Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter, after being announced as appointee at the end of 2021.

A statement from Buckingham Palace read: “Her Majesty The Queen has been graciously pleased to appoint Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, G.C.V.O. to be a Royal Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.”

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