The Oldest and Highest British Order of Chivalry (рыцарство), founded in 1348 by Edward III. The Most Noble Order of the Garter has concept of like minded brotherhood dedicated to service and chivalry, these principals are as relevant today as 650 years ago. The Order consists of Her Majesty The Queen who is Sovereign of the Order, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and 24 Knights Companions.
The symbol of the Order of the Garter is a blue 'garter' with the motto Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense. At a Court ball the Countess of Salisbury dropped her garter (подвязка) and King Edward seeing her embarrassment picked it up and bound it about his own leg saying in French, Evil (or shame) on him who thinks this evil. It is more likely that as the garter was a small strap used as a device to attach pieces of armour (доспехи), it might have been thought appropriate to use the garter as a symbol of binding together in brotherhood.
The patron saint of the Order of the Garter is St George and as he is also the patron saint of England, the spiritual home of the order has always been St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.
The holders of this Order as a Knights Companion, entitles the right to use the title 'Sir' before their Christian names as well as being entitled to add the letters 'K.G' ( Knight of the Garter ) or in the case of a Lady Companion 'L.G.' Lady of the Garter, after their surnames or title.
The banners of the Knights Companion are hung in St. George's Chapel. The banners remain above his stall during his lifetime and are taken down at his death. The cost of preparing the banners, and stall plates is borne by the Order.
The insignia (знаки отличия) consist of the Collar and Badge known as the George, the Star, the Garter and the Sash with the Investment Badge, called the Lesser George. The Collar with the George is openly worn on Collar Days or on special occasions commanded by The Sovereign. At ceremonies in St. George's Chapel the Knights and Ladies Companion wear the Mantle and Hat of the Order.
The Collar (ожерелье) is of gold and weighs 30 ounces. The design consists of 24 red enamelled (покрытые эмалью) Tudor roses within dark blue enamelled Garters bearing the motto in gold letters, and 24 double or interlaced (переплетенные) knots. The roses and knots are joined to each other by gold links.
The Star is eight pointed and of silver. At its centre is a white enamelled medallion bearing the Cross of St George in red enamel and surrounded by a dark blue enamelled Garter edged with gold bearing the motto in gold letters.
The Lesser George is of gold, and consists of St George slaying (убивающий) the dragon, surrounded by an oval band bearing the motto.
Each year in June a procession and service take place at Windsor Castle for the Order of the Garter. If there are new Companions, The Queen formally invests them with the insignia at a Chapter of the Order in the Throne Room of Windsor Castle. Afterwards The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh entertain the members and officers of the Order at a lunch in the Waterloo Chamber. After lunch the Knights process on foot to a service in St. George's Chapel, wearing their blue velvet robes, known as mantels, and black velvet hats with white plumes. The colourful procession is led by the Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle and the Military Knights of Windsor. The Sovereign and the other members of the Order return in carriages and cars to the Upper Ward of the castle.