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The Queen is joined by all her children for the Order of the Garter ceremony

The traditional Order of the Garter service is taking place in Windsor this afternoon with all four of the Queen’s children taking part. The Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex and the Princess Royal, who are all members of the Order, have joined Elizabeth II for the event.

The Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra of Kent are also at the traditional service which takes place at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. Before the ceremony, they all posed for a photo with the Queen at Windsor Castle. The Order of the Garter was founded there in 1348 by King Edward III.

Earlier in the day, the Queen invested the new members of the Order. King Felipe VI of Spain and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands were officially welcomed as Supernumerary Knights. The Spanish monarch had been made a member in July 2017 during his State Visit to the UK while the Dutch king was appointed during his own State Visit in late 2018. Felipe was joined by his wife, Queen Letizia, for his investiture while Queen Maxima was at Willem-Alexander’s side for the ceremony.

The Queen also invested Lord Salisbury as a Knight Companion of the Order while Dame Mary Peters, the Olympic gold medal winner who went on to set up a foundation that has helped thousands of young people into sport, was made a Lady Companion of the Order.

Following the investitures this morning, the new members of the Order joined the Queen and the existing knights and ladies for a lunch held in the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle. Just after 2.30pm the procession to St. George’s Chapel for the annual service began.

Following the ceremony, the royal guests took part in a carriage ride through the castle precincts. King Felipe and Queen Letizia stayed at Windsor Castle last night ahead of the celebrations while it is reported that King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will be staying on following the Garter service as they are expected to attend Royal Ascot which gets under way tomorrow.

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Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.