Senior royals don plumed hats and velvet robes for Garter Day service
The pomp and pageantry of Garter Day was on display as senior members of the royal family and foreign monarchs attended the order’s annual service.
Wearing the lavish velvet robes, glistening insignia and plumed hats of the Order of the Garter, the Queen and the royal knights processed through the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Newly invested members of the order King Felipe VI of Spain and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands – now supernumerary, or stranger knights – proudly walked to St George’s Chapel with the Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge, Duke of York, Princess Royal and Earl of Wessex.
They were watched by the Duchess of Cambridge, Duchess of Cornwall, Countess of Wessex and the two foreign Queens – the Spanish monarch’s wife Queen Letizia, and Queen Maxima, wife of the Dutch king.
The royal women all looked stylish in wide-brimmed hats, with Kate wearing a Catherine Walker coat and Lock & Co hat, while Camilla was dressed in an Anna Valentine coat and Philip Treacy hat; Sophie wore a Suzannah dress and Jane Taylor hat.
Maxima wore an outfit by Claes Iversen and a hat by Fabienne Delvigne.
Former Prime Minister Sir John Major, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, a past president of the Supreme Court, and Admiral Lord Boyce, a former head of the UK’s armed forces are also Garter knights and were part of the procession in front of the royals.
Maxima seemed the most excited by the events, smiling broadly as her husband Willem-Alexander walked past next to his Spanish counterpart Felipe.
Hundreds of spectators watched as the Garter Knights walked through the castle grounds accompanied by ceremonial military units.
Their route was lined by troopers on foot from the Household Cavalry’s Life Guards and Blues and Royals, wearing their plumed helmets and carrying swords.
The Queen, who arrived by state limousine, is sovereign of the order and appoints new Knights of the Garter without consulting ministers.
Recipients of the honour are chosen because they have held public office, contributed to national life or served the sovereign personally.
The foreign monarchs were invested with the insignia of the Order by the Queen in the castle’s garter throne room and during the service were installed, or formally seated, in the chapel’s quire.