Tony Blair to join Queen’s highest chivalry order at Windsor ceremonyon June 12, 2022 at 11:06 pm

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The Duchess of Cornwall and Baroness Amos will also be installed in the royal Order of the Garter.

Tony BlairImage source, Daniel Leal

Sir Tony Blair, the Duchess of Cornwall and Baroness Amos are to be installed as members of the Order of the Garter, Britain’s most prestigious royal order of chivalry at a ceremony later.

The former PM received his knighthood from the Queen on Friday and will now join this medieval royal order, at the event at Windsor Castle.

Appointments are a personal choice of the Queen – but it is not yet confirmed if she will be at the ceremony.

The Duke of York is expected to attend.

Prince Andrew missed Jubilee events after testing positive for Covid, but a source close to the duke says he intends to be at the Order of the Garter ceremony, in what will be his first public appearance since the memorial service for Prince Philip.

Although no longer a “working royal” and not using the HRH title, Prince Andrew is still a “royal companion” of the order and eligible to attend.

Baroness Amos, a former Labour cabinet minister and UN under-secretary, becomes the first black member of the order since it was founded in 1348.

Baroness Amos

Image source, PA Media

It is understood that Sir Tony, Baroness Amos and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall have already been given the insignia of the order in private meetings with the Queen.

The honour comes with the status of a knight and Sir Tony received his knighthood, without any publicity, from the Queen in an audience at Windsor last week.

Sir Tony had been one of the longest-serving prime ministers during the Queen’s 70-year reign, including the tumultuous times that followed the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

A petition had been launched against Sir Tony receiving a knighthood, with opponents criticising his involvement in the Iraq War.

The appointments to the Order of the Garter were announced at New Year, but members are formally installed at an annual ceremony in June, with velvet robes and plumed caps worn in a colourful procession.

The Queen appeared several times during the Platinum Jubilee weekend, but her mobility problems forced her to pull out of the Thanksgiving Service and it’s not been confirmed whether she will attend “Garter Day”.

Knights of the garter parade through crowds in Windsor

Image source, Getty Images

This involves a service in St George’s Chapel in Windsor, music from a marching band and a procession by members of the order.

It is usually a regular date in the Queen’s diary, although the ceremony had been cancelled during the pandemic.

Camilla becomes one of the “royal companions”, with her appointment seen as a personal sign of approval by the Queen.

Sir Tony and Baroness Amos become “knight and lady companions” of the order, which has a membership of up to 24 people.

Other members include former prime minister Sir John Major and former MI5 director-general Baroness Manningham-Buller. The oldest member is 90-year-old Lord Morris, a former Labour cabinet member.

The order, instituted by Edward III, originated from medieval chivalry and senior figures around a monarch.

The modern criteria, according to Buckingham Palace, is to “honour those who have undertaken public service, who have contributed in a particular way to national life”.

In Scotland, the Order of the Thistle was founded in 1687. Two new members were recently appointed, Sir George Reid and Lady Elish Angiolini.

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