Order of the Garter

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Order of the Garter

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

English Order of Chivalry founded by King Edward III. The usual story of its formation is that the king was at a royal ball, dancing with the Countess of Salisbury, when her garter fell to the floor. The king returned it to her after first placing it on his own leg, with the words, "Honi soit qui mal y pense" ("shame be to him who thinks evil of it"). The date, according to Froisant, was 1344 (although some authorities assign it to 1350). Edward went on to form the highest and most ancient order of knighthood, known as the Order of the Garter. This was formally created on April 23, 1350—St. George's Day. Margaret Murray suggested that, since it took more than a dropped garter to embarrass a woman—even a countess—in the sixteenth century, it must have been a pagan ritual garter she had been wearing. At that time England was still almost half pagan. If, as Murray suggests, it was a ritual garter, then the king made a smart move by placing it on his own leg. In effect, he was declaring himself willing to rule over the pagan population as well as the Christian one. His words, which seemed to mystify Murray, make admirable sense when one considers that there were many Christian dignitaries at the ball and that Edward was referring not to the garter but to the Old Religion itself when he made his comment.

Edward formed the Order of the Garter with twenty-four knights plus himself and the Prince of Wales. Murray points out that the number, twenty-six, is the same as found in two covens of thirteen each. Furthermore, as leader of the order, the king wears a blue velvet mantle with 168 miniature garters sprinkled over it. Together with the one on his leg, that would total 169, or thirteen times thirteen.

References in periodicals archive ?
com shifted some 3,000 of the gowns within hours and she was in a pounds 450 Buxton dress and pounds 750 coat by Katherine Hooker for the Order of the Garter service, left, and back in an Alexander McQueen coat for the Trooping of the Colour.
Queen and Duke of Edinburgh arrive for the annual Order of the Garter Service A radiant Duchess of Cambridge after the service and (inset) her husband
Above, the Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Cornwall watch the procession pass at the annual Order of the Garter Service at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.
GARTER DAY: The Duke of Cambridge and Prince of Wales arrive for the annual Order of the Garter Service, above, and, right, the Queen is watched by the Duchess of Cambridge
She had begun a week of engagements, attending the annual Order of the Garter service with other members of the Royal Family at Windsor on the eve of the book's publication.
Left, Tim Graham's unusual shot of the Queen braving a puddle on her 1977 visit to New Zealand; Below, the laughing queen - Elizabeth II trying to defy the high winds and keep her hat after the annual Order of the Garter service at Windsor in 1980 in Jenny Bond's book Elizabeth - Fifty Glorious Years
In June, 2008, Kate attended an official Royal public occasion for the first time, when she went to the Order of the Garter service at Windsor Castle to watch William taking part.
THOUSANDS of people witnessed the traditional procession through Windsor Castle before the annual Order of the Garter service.
Her relief was plain to see as she beamed during the annual Order of the Garter service at the castle hours after her husband left hospital.
The Duchess of Cornwall gave onlookers a sense of deja vu when she attended yesterday's historic Order of the Garter service wearing a feather headdress remarkably like the one designed for her wedding.
All three royal ladies dressed in summer pastels to watch their husbands in the Order of the Garter service.
more than 6,000 people gathered at Windsor Castle to watch the pageantry of the Order of the Garter service.