New Year Honours: Queen gives Tony Blair and Duchess of Cornwall special honour

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New Year Honours: Queen gives Tony Blair and Duchess of Cornwall special honour
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  • Tony Blair
    Tony Blair
    Former prime minister of the United Kingdom (born 1953)
  • Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
    Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
    Second wife of Charles, Prince of Wales
  • Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
    Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
    Prince consort
  • Charles, Prince of Wales
    Charles, Prince of Wales
    Eldest son and heir-apparent of Queen Elizabeth II (born 1948)

The Queen has honoured former PM Tony Blair, the Duchess of Cornwall and Baroness Amos with the Order of the Garter.

The ancient and oldest order of Chivalry dates back 700 years and is one of the highest honours the monarch can bestow.

Prince Charles, Prince William and Sir John Major are current knights of the order.

Sir Winston Churchill and Prince Philip were both given the award during their lifetimes.

By making Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall - who married Prince Charles in 2005 - a Lady Companion of the Garter, it shows how much the Queen respects her daughter-in-law and paves the way for her to be given the title Queen Consort.

Tony Blair (Getty Images)
Tony Blair (Getty Images)

Tony Blair, the youngest UK PM since Lord Liverpool in 1812, stepped down as Prime Minister in 2007 and is credited with making Labour electable again.

Mr Blair and Labour politician Baroness Amos have both been honoured for their public service.

The order today includes the Queen, who is Sovereign of the Garter, several members of the royal family and 24 knights chosen in recognition of their work.

Her Majesty personally selects the knights and companions.

The knights are now both male and female and used to be restricted to the aristocracy but today they are chosen from a variety of backgrounds in recognition of public service.

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