Duchess Camilla was appointed to the Order of the Garter, the highest honor

About two weeks after Queen Elizabeth’s “health crisis” began in mid-October, there was a very curious story in the Daily Mail about the royal “counsellors of state.” The counsellors are important in situations where the monarch is ill, in a coma, or in any way incapacitated. The current counsellors of state are: Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Andrew and Prince Harry. A big part of being “counsellor” is simply “being alive, over the age of 18 and in the country.” During the Queen’s October health crisis, Charles was the only viable one in the country, and when he was in Rome, Andrew was the only other “counsellor” in the UK at the time.

I bring up that story because the Mail’s sources were basically indicating that the Queen would need to make some different arrangements for all of the monarchy’s most important groups/state issues, especially with Andrew’s disgrace and Harry living in America. The sources telegraphed the idea that Camilla was about to be appointed a counsellor of state, but that hasn’t happened yet. It will, however. Especially since Camilla was just added to the Order the Garter, the highest order of knighthood in Great Britain.

Queen Elizabeth has appointed Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall to the Order of the Garter. On Friday night, the Queen announced that the Duchess of Cornwall would become a Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter. Additionally, Baroness Valerie Ann Amos was declared to be a Lady Companion, and former Prime Minister Tony Blair was given the title of Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.

The Order of the Garter was founded by Edward III in 1348 and is the most senior order of knighthood in the British honors system. The number of companions is limited to 24, although supernumerary members do not count towards this total.

The Order includes the Queen, who is Sovereign of the Garter, several senior members of the royal family, and 24 knights chosen in recognition of their work. Knights of the Garter are chosen personally by the monarch to honor those who have held public office, contributed to national life or personally served the monarch.

Other members of the Order include Prince William, who was made a Knight in what is the most senior order of chivalry in the U.K. in 2008, as well as Prince Charles. Sir Winston Churchill and Prince Philip were also bestowed with the honor in their lifetimes.

A grand procession of the knights takes place at Windsor Castle every June, accompanied by a marching band and Officers of the Order, all in grand ceremonial dress. Hosted by Queen Elizabeth, the Order of the Garter ceremony is one of the grand high points in the royal calendar.

[From People]

Princess Anne is also in the Order of the Garter, as is Prince Edward. Camilla seems to be taking Philip’s old spot? There was some suggestion that this is the kind of honor which should have and probably would have gone to Prince Harry, had he… you know, given up his marriage and stayed in the UK to be his brother’s doormat. That’s probably true, that Harry eventually would have gotten it, but I think Camilla always would have gotten it too, if not under QEII, then definitely under “King Charles.”

Also: interesting to see Tony Blair finally get an honor from QEII. This is truly the first honour she’s bestowed on him. Before Blair, she passed out CBEs and knighthoods to former prime ministers soon after they left office. Blair hasn’t been in office since 2007. She was so mad at him! She held a grudge against him for years. For what it’s worth, she hasn’t given any honours to Gordon Brown, David Cameron or Theresa May either.

Photos courtesy of Instar, Avalon Red.

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