06 February 2012

Order of the Garter Star, Riband, and Lesser George

These pieces of insignia from the Most Noble Order of the Garter are worn for simpler occasions than other pieces such as the mantle or collar. Today, we see them most often at state banquets.

The Star
The Queen's Garter Star is set with diamonds and was a gift to her from her father, King George VI, in 1947 (when she was invested). It was originally a wedding gift to him from the Royal Navy. The star is worn on the left breast. Click here to see the star at the Royal Collection site.

The Riband
The distinctive blue riband is a 4 inch wide sash worn from the left shoulder to the right hip. Most orders of chivalry commonly seen today are worn the opposite direction; most we see today also have a thinner version for ladies, while the Garter does not.

The Lesser George
The badge worn suspended from the riband bow at the hip is called the Lesser George (in contrast to the Greater George worn suspended from the collar). It depicts St. George on horseback slaying a dragon. As with the star and the Greater George, the Lesser Georges can have different designs; the flamboyant George IV had 55 different badges at his death. The diamond-framed Lesser George shown above belonged to George IV, and was later a gift from Queen Victoria to Prince Albert (and was worn by her after his death). It is now worn by the Queen. Click here to see the badge at the Royal Collection site.

The Queen has worn at least one other Lesser George, a depiction in cameo and enamel which was also a wedding gift from the Royal Navy to George VI and subsequently a gift to Elizabeth on her investiture. Click here to see that badge at the Royal Collection site.

Other Featured Garter Insignia:
The Mantle and Bonnet
The Collar and Great George
The Garter 

 Appearances:
8 December 2016: Diplomatic Reception
8 December 2015: Diplomatic Reception
27 November 2015: Visit to Malta, Day 2, CHOGM Dinner
20 October 2015: State Visit from China, State Banquet 
8 April 2014: State Visit from Ireland
6 February 2012: Official Diamond Jubilee Portrait
2011: State Visit from the United States
2010: State Visit to the UAE and Oman
2010: State Visit from South Africa
2009: State Visit from India 
2009: State Visit from Mexico  
2007: CHOGM Dinner
2005: State Visit from China
1991: State Visit to the United States
1980: State Visit to Vatican City 
1967: Visit to Malta 
1967: State Visit from Saudi Arabia
1954: Visit to Australia, Parliament Opening
1954: Visit to New Zealand, Parliament Opening
Various Years: CHOGM Dinners
Various Years: Diplomatic Reception 
The Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II 

Photos: The Royal Collection