14 May 2014

The Garter of the Order of the Garter (Plus Current Events)

A graphic of the Garter as it is often represented, and the Garter worn by the Queen
A representation of a blue garter adorned with the motto of the Order of the Garter (Honi soit qui mal y pense, "Shame on he who thinks ill of it") can be seen on various items worn by members of the Order, but a far more rare sight today is the actual Garter that comes along with the rest of the insignia. The Garter is made of a blue fabric embellished with the Order's motto and closed with a buckle. The materials and design can vary (blue velvet and diamonds or blue silk and gold, for example).
Video: A rare look at the investiture of a new Knight, in this case Sir Edward Heath, which shows the Page placing the Garter.
The Garter is worn by gentlemen just below the left knee and by ladies just above the left elbow. It can be worn on occasions when the Riband is used, such as some of the most formal white tie events, but it does not have to be worn and usage has become fairly rare, especially for ladies.
The Garter on (left to right) Queen Mary, the Queen, and the Duke of Edinburgh
The Queen doesn't seem to favor it, and largely avoids using the Garter - two notable exceptions being her visits to Vatican City in 1961 and 1980. Others continue to wear it; Princess Alexandra of Kent can be seen wearing hers for the annual Diplomatic Reception in the documentary Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work, and the men still occasionally wear theirs when they opt for knee breeches instead of full-length trousers. The Diplomatic Reception again is the best example of this.

Other Featured Garter Insignia:
The Mantle and Bonnet
The Collar and Great George
The Star, Riband, and Lesser George

8 December 2016: Diplomatic Reception (on the gentlemen) 
8 December 2015: Diplomatic Reception (on the gentlemen)
1986: State Visit from Spain (on the gentlemen) 
1980: State Visit to Vatican City

In current news...

On Tuesday, May 13, the Queen held audiences at Buckingham Palace, click here. She wore the Frosted Sunflower Brooch with her other standard day items.

Today (Wednesday, May 14), the Queen paid a casual visit to the Royal Windsor Horse Show, as she does every year, click here. She wore a single strand of pearls, pearl stud earrings, and her black strap watch, together with her engagement and wedding rings. The Daily Mail has an interesting pictorial on the Queen at the show throughout the years.

Photos: Wikimedia Commons/AP/British Monarchy