Olympic gold medallist Dame Mary Peters appointed to Order of the Garter

Former Olympian Dame Mary Peters has been appointed to the Order of the Garter by the Queen, Buckingham Palace has announced.

Dame Mary, from Northern Ireland, won gold in the pentathlon at the 1972 Olympics and founded sports charity the Mary Peters Trust.

Dame Mary Peters
Dame Mary Peters (Paul Faith/PA)

She will become a Lady Companion of the Order –  the oldest and most senior British Order of Chivalry.

Mary Peters in 1968
Athlete Mary Peters, left, competing in the hurdles in 1968 (PA)

Each year, Royal Knights and Ladies of the Order of the Garter gather at St George’s Chapel in Windsor for a colourful procession and ceremony.

Watched by crowds of onlookers, they walk down the hill to the chapel from the State Apartments, dressed in blue velvet mantles, red velvet hoods, black velvet hats and white ostrich plumes.

The Order of the Garter procession
The Order of the Garter procession (Chris Jackson/PA)

Dame Mary is one of two new appointments announced by the palace.

Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, the 7th Marquess of Salisbury, who is former chairman of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation, has been made a Knight Companion.

He organised the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames in 2012 to mark the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.

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