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Senior royals out in force for Order of the Garter service

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The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall with Queen Elzabeth II (centre) at Windsor Castle ahead of the annual Order of the Garter Service at St George’s Chapel. (PA)
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall with Queen Elzabeth II (centre) at Windsor Castle ahead of the annual Order of the Garter Service at St George’s Chapel. (PA)

Senior members of the Royal Family were out in force on Monday for the Order of the Garter service at St George’s Chapel.

The Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and other senior royals processed through the grounds of Windsor Castle for a church service commemorating the Order of the Garter.

Order of the Garter Ceremony in Windsor Castle 2022

Around 4,500 spectators within the castle walls watched the colourful procession of Garter Knight and Ladies dressed in blue velvet mantles, red velvet hoods, black velvet hats and white ostrich plumes.

It was joined for the first time by Duchess of Cornwall who has been appointed a Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter.

Former prime minister Tony Blair was appointed to the oldest and most senior British Order of Chivalry as a Knight Companion - though the honour prompted a noisy protest outside the castle walls.

He walked with Baroness Valerie Amos who joined the Order as a Lady Companion. The Labour Peer, the first black person to become a cabinet member, is now also the first black person appointed to the Order.

The Queen did not take part in the procession, though this was expected due to her mobility issues.

However, she did attend the lunch and the investiture ceremony. She was pictured with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Windsor Castle ahead of the service at St George’s Chapel.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arriving for the annual Order of the Garter Servic (PA Wire)
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arriving for the annual Order of the Garter Servic (PA Wire)
Duchess of Cambridge (right) and the Countess of Wessex arriving for the annual Order of the Garter Service (PA Wire)
Duchess of Cambridge (right) and the Countess of Wessex arriving for the annual Order of the Garter Service (PA Wire)
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, center, and former leader of the British House of Lords Baroness Amos, center left, walk in the procession to St George's Chapel for the Order of the Garter service (AP)
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, center, and former leader of the British House of Lords Baroness Amos, center left, walk in the procession to St George's Chapel for the Order of the Garter service (AP)

The disgraced Duke of York was forced to remain out of sight after a “family decision” was taken to limit his appearance.

Andrew has rarely been seen in public since stepping down from royal duties over his links to paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

A senior source told the Standard that Prince William was “adamant” that he would withdraw if Prince Andrew, 62, was allowed to take part.

A version of the Order of Service for the St George’s Chapel service named Andrew as being part of the Garter knights while in another distributed to the public he has been omitted.

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty Magazine, said: “Clearly it was the intention he would be there, as he does feature in one of the lists, so it’s not a media invention he was going to be there, until recently that was the intention.

“Interesting that the family should need to intervene on something like this and to pull him back but clearly that’s what it takes.”

Kate and William at the service (Getty Images)
Kate and William at the service (Getty Images)
The procession walks to St George's Chapel for the Order of the Garter service at Windsor Castle (AP)
The procession walks to St George's Chapel for the Order of the Garter service at Windsor Castle (AP)
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the Order Of The Garter Service (Getty Images)
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the Order Of The Garter Service (Getty Images)
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, center, arrives for the Order of the Garter service at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England (AP)
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, center, arrives for the Order of the Garter service at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England (AP)

The Queen had signalled her support for Andrew by arriving with him for the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service in March.

It came just weeks after he reached a multimillion-pound out-of-court settlement in a civil sexual assault case.

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

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