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The mantle of the Order of the Garter

The Order of the Garter is considered the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain. Created over 700 years ago by King Edward III, the Order was inspired by King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Today the 24 Knights of the Garter are men and women chosen for their contributions to society. The Sovereign personally chooses the knights. The patron saint of the Order is Saint George.

Garter Day is one of the most colourful days of the royal calendar, thanks to the regalia the Knights of the Garter wear. Donning plumed hats, regalia and deep blue velvet mantles, the knights process through the grounds at Windsor Castle to Saint George’s Chapel, the Order’s spiritual home.

The blue mantles, or robes, are the basis for the Order’s outfit. Though the colour of the robe has changed through the centuries, it has always been a fixture of the regalia. Today, the floor-length mantle is a deep blue velvet and made by robemaking company, Ede & Ravenscroft.

Ede & Ravenscroft has been making mantles for the Order of the Garter and the Royal Family since the 17th century.

The mantle is lined with white taffeta and secured with blue and gold cords. Sewn on the left shoulder is the shield of Saint George’s Cross encircled with by the garter. The exception is the Sovereign, who wears the star of the Order in the same location. On right shoulder is a surcoat and a red velvet hood.

On top of the mantle, a gold collar is worn. Secured with white ribbons on the shoulders, the collar is made of gold heraldic knots and medallions that are roses surrounded by the garter. The Great George pendant is attached to the collar and depicts Saint George slaying a dragon.

The mantle was worn by several members of the Royal Family at the Coronation, including the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent.

In 2023, King Charles oversaw his first Garter Day as Sovereign. Baroness Ashton of Upholland GCMG was made a Lady Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter and Lord Patten of Barnes CH became a Knight Companion.

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