Every year in June, in the week of Royal Ascot, the Garter day service is held. This service and procession marks the installation of new members of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. This year the event is to be held on Monday 18th June.
The Most Noble Order of the Garter, which was created by King Edward III, will be 670 years old this year. New members are selected by the sovereign in recognition for work in a public office, service to the monarch or a contribution to public life. The membership to the order is strictly limited to twenty-four companion members including the Queen herself. The two current vacancies have arisen after the deaths of Sir William Gladstone and Sir Ninian Stephen within the last year.
The new appointments to the order are announced on 23rd April each year and can only be selected personally by the monarch. This year the new members will be Dame Mary Fagan who will become a Lady Companion and Alan Brooke, 3rd Viscount Brookeborough who will become a Knight Companion. Dame Mary is already a Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, she has been a Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Chancellor of the University of Winchester and is a trustee of numerous charities. Viscount Brookeborough has been Lord-in-Waiting to the Queen for the past twenty years and is Lord-Lieutenant of Fermanagh.
On the day the two new members of the order will be invested with the insignia of the Order in the Garter Throne room at Windsor Castle by the Queen. The insignia of the Order includes; a blue mantle, the garter star and an ostrich plume hat. The private investiture will be followed by a service at St George’s Chapel.