Queen Elizabeth made the Spanish & Dutch kings ‘Stranger Knights of the Garter’

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I’ll do another post on today’s Order of the Garter service on Tuesday, because as of right now, it’s taking a long time for photo agencies to get these new photos up. So I’m just going with what we have now. Just know that there were so many royal figures gathered at Windsor Castle today. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, The Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward, the Princess Royal (Anne), and some foreign royals too: King Felipe VI of Spain and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, and their respective queens, Letizia and Maxima. King Felipe and King Willem-Alexander were appointed Supernumerary Knights of the Garter, or Stranger Knights of the Garter. The Daily Mail had a nice write-up about the history of the Order of the Garter:

King Felipe VI of Spain and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands have been welcomed to Windsor by The Queen today as they receive a special honour reserved only for foreign royals at the annual Order of the Garter service. Her Majesty welcomed the royals and their wives Queen Letizia of Spain and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands to Windsor Castle, where she officially invested them as Supernumerary, or ‘Stranger’, Knights of the Garter.

Felipe was appointed by the Queen during his July 2017 state visit while Willem-Alexander received the honour during his state visit in October 2018, with today’s ceremony cementing their awards at one of the grandest events on the Royal calendar. The Order of the Garter is a a 700-year tradition founded by Edward III in 1348, and recognises contributions of great public service from those honoured – usually Lords and Ladies of the UK.

Although the Order has a limit of 24 members, excluding The Queen and Prince Charles, foreign royals have been given honorary ‘Stranger Knight’ status since 1813, with controversial recipients over the years including Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany before World War I. Two official appointments made today are Lady Companion, Lady Mary Peters, and Knight Companion, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil the Marquess of Salisbury, who are both being invested with the Order’s insignia by The Queen at Windsor Castle.

Knights of the Garter are chosen personally by the Sovereign to honour those who have held public office, who have contributed in a particular way to national life or who have served the Sovereign personally. Stranger Knights is a second order bestowed upon foreign royals, with the title not counting towards the official limit of 24 members. The last time a foreign monarch was invested was King Harald of Norway in 2001, with royals often keeping the honour during their reign and then the title being passed on to their successor.

[From The Daily Mail]

William is Knight of the Garter, but Harry is not – it was believed that William was made a Knight of the Garter so young because he’s second in line to the throne, but it’s also believed that Harry will eventually be made a Knight of the Garter, but maybe not until he’s about 40 years old (which is when Edward and Andrew were given the honor). I think it’s kind of cool that the Queen would choose to honor foreign kings as Stranger Knights too, although it looks like all of the kings getting the honor are European. I’m sure King Salman of the House of Saud would love to be part of this, I’m just saying. Anyway, I just enjoy the photos of the Queen looking like something out of Harry Potter.

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Photos courtesy of Getty.

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41 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth made the Spanish & Dutch kings ‘Stranger Knights of the Garter’”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    I love this kind of pomp and circumstance lol.

    Letizia and Maxima both look great.

    • Eyfalia says:

      Yup, I would like a hat like that, the one from the Queen with these feathers. Lots and lots of feathers. In my next live I will be an ostrich. 😀

      • oddly says:

        The hat is apparently a ‘Tudor Bonnet’ (AKA Henry VIII) ……… now that’s tradition.

  2. Flying fish says:

    Just a bunch of useless people honoring each other for being useless.

    • Jb says:

      Yasssss!!!! But I enjoy the fashion aspect of it all. Co-sign the worthlessness of ALL “ROYALS”. Including the ones always mentioned on this site. Privileged beyond belief isn’t a skill or high honor.

    • Becks1 says:

      Oh of course. I enjoy the royals but despite my constant comments, I cant think about them that deeply bc then I’m just like, “and what do you do again??” (for all the royal families.)

    • Wilma says:

      Very happy with our ‘useless’ person ever since the first prime minister was elected that I didn’t feel represented by. Since that moment, and more annoying (more and more populist) prime ministers, I have started to appreciate having a national figure head who can and does make an effort to actually represent all Dutch people.

      • Tori says:

        Kings and queens are able to represent all people because they are basically useless though. They don’t make any kind of decision that has an effect on everyday life so they have the luxury to symbolically represent the entire country. Prime Ministers actually have to get things done and that means making difficult decisions. Just because not all decisions are to your personal liking doesn’t mean they’re not representative of the country. Someone voted for their party so they respresent some people but it is shortsighted to think they can represent everyone at any time.

      • oddly says:

        That’s the point Tori……..a monarch can represent all of the people all of the time.

    • GR says:

      Flying fish – agreed. I enjoy the clothes and the gossip, but when I stop and think about it, it sickens me how much money is spent on this garbage when there are so many people who are poor or just holding on financially.
      I think it’s especially obvious when the silliness refers to a time when these people actually did *something*, like being heads of state or real knights who went to war. Still gross and unfair then, but at least they had some purpose.

    • msn says:

      @FlyingFish wish I could like this a zillion times!!!

  3. Lady D says:

    I was going to mention the dresses, but I’ll wait until Tuesday’s post.

  4. snazzy says:

    I find Felipe so handsome. Even when he is dressed up as Dumbledore Jr

  5. Lightpurple says:

    Someone is going to be very jealous!

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      YEs! There’s someone out there who was just visiting and would be an Extremely Strange Knight of the Garter.

      • Heidi says:

        Obviously, Trump has never heard of this – otherwise it would have been on the list of his demands.

      • Some chick says:

        He’s probably never heard of it, but he’s also not qualified. Pretty sure it said this is only for royals. Which he most decidedly is not (and I bet they’re all glad of that, at least).

      • Ella says:

        it isn’t only for royals, one of those inducted yesterday was the athlete Dame Mary Peters, and there’s a bunch of ex-senior military figures as well. It is awarded solely at the discretion of the monarch, though.

    • snazzy says:

      OMG Next year she should give it to Obama. Someone’s head would explode

    • ElleKaye says:

      I can see the tweets now, “The Queen and the Prince of Whales are celebrating a Night of Garters. Melania and I were invited: she has many, many garters, as you know. So many garters. More than anyone else; but we said no.”

      The Prince Of Whales viewed this as a breach.

    • oddly says:

      Except of course , to be a full member of the Order of the Garter you have to be British and it’s limited to 24 at any one time plus the Queen and POW. The other two parts of the order are strictly for British Royals (Royal Knights) and for Foreign Royals (Stranger Knights).

  6. Gingerbee says:

    I like Leti and Max’s dresses. Sorry to say, but sometimes Max looks like a Christmas tree.

  7. Sarah_UK says:

    Queen Maxima looks magnificent!
    Everyone looks fantastic in these photos, but she is the stand out for me.

  8. Bunchita says:

    Such clownery. The whole system.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      It is, but given the history of these 3 countries, it’s nice to see them getting along.

    • ElleKaye says:

      I apologize if I am being offensive, but the Queen vaguely reminds me of Puss In Boots from Shrek in her cape. Please forgive me.

  9. Harpersghost says:

    Just a note about membership. The stranger knights aren’t just European. Emperor Akihito is a member, so I guess the Japanese are classy enough to be included in the club. Akihito just abdicated, so I’d imagine that Naruhito, his son, will be invited once he makes a state visit to the UK. (Royals love to give each other honors during state visits.)

  10. Scal says:

    Apparently the Cambridges came after everyone else and skipped the first part of the ceremony. So William was the only one that missed the group photo of all the garter knights, and they both missed nearly all the investiture ceremonies. But they were there for the parade so they get full marks right? /s

    It just came off as very entitled and bizarre to me when the rest of the family was there.

  11. Giddy says:

    He Who Must Not Be Named has begun using the royal “we” sometimes. He would love to be a dictator, but what he would really love is being an emperor. He would adore having his portraits everywhere and would put his family coat of arms on everything! On that coat of arms I wonder what symbols indicate low intelligence and lack of conscience and morals.

  12. anon says:

    Kate and William always smirk their way through this event. A theory: Willy knows that Kate’s sporting a garter under her baby-girl coat dress. We know she likes to dress literally for her events. And we’ve seen hints of corsetry under her outfits at previous Garters. How else to explain the smirking??

  13. Mo says:

    Not a monarchist, but Stranger Knight of the Garter is a title I could go for.

  14. ElleKaye says:

    I have two paternal grandfather’s who were Knights of the Garter, James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose in 1650, and James Graham, 2nd Marquess of Montrose, in 1812. It is interesting to see how it is celebrated today.

    • Diplomanatee says:

      It’s wonderful to imagine it, isn’t it? I’m also descended from one of the founders of the Order, Sir John Chandos 🙂

      • ElleKaye says:

        I just read a bit about Sir John Chandos, and what an impressive man he was. It must give you so much pride knowing that you are descended from such a noble and well-respected man who truly sought peace. I love learning about my ancestry, and I am always intrigued to learn about others. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Citresse says:

    The DM photos featured a number of photos where William walked alongside his father. From the profile angle, William is really looking more like Charles.

  16. Julaine says:

    Prince William was inducted when he was because the Queen wanted to make him the 1000th Knight in the Order. She would have probably waited until he was older but it was a unique opportunity. I would not be surprised if the Queen made Harry a member in the next few years now that he is married and is a father. Either that or she is leaving that honor for his father. Charles will undoubtedly give the honor to Camilla as his first appointment and Harry as his second if his is not already a member.