Today, The Duchess of Cambridge and Queen Letizia of Spain were together at the same place in the public eye for a royal engagement. Both joined Queen Elizabeth, King Felipe, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima for the Order of Garter Service at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom. The day was a real royal knock out today with the presence of 3 Queens, 2 Kings, 1 heir and many Dukes and Duchesses along with other royals.
It was a day full of royal pomp and pageantry with the presence of three royal families – British, Spanish and Dutch. It was the second time when both Duchess Catherine and Queen Letizia were present at the event together, before this both of them attended the State Banquet hosted by Queen Elizabeth in July 2017 during the Spain State Visit to the UK.
During the 2017 state visit, Queen Elizabeth appointed King Felipe of Spain a Supernumerary Knight of the noblest Order of the Garter, the highest distinction granted by the British monarchy. Queen Elizabeth conferred the same honour on King Willem-Alexander of Netherlands during Dutch State visit to the UK in 2018. Hence the presence of Queen Letizia and Queen Maxima at British Royal Event where both Kings were invested.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia spend the Sunday night at Windsor Castle.
From the royal website: The Order of the Garter is the oldest and most chivalrous order in the United Kingdom with motto ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense (Shame on him who thinks this evil)’. In medieval times, King Edward III was so inspired by tales of King Arthur and the chivalry of the Knights of the Round Table that he set up his own group of honourable knights, called the Order of the Garter in 1348 to recognize courage and loyalty.
Nearly 700 years later, the Order is the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain. The English Garter and the Spanish Golden Fleece are the two most important and appreciated knightly decorations in European history. The Order includes the Queen, who is Sovereign of the Garter, several Members of the Royal Family, and twenty-four knights or ladies elected in recognition of their work.
The Knights, now both male and female, used to be limited to aristocracy, but today they are personally chosen by the Sovereign from a variety of backgrounds to honour those who have held public office, who have contributed in a particular way to national life or who have personally served the Sovereign. These have included Marshal of the RAF, Lord Stirrup, and former Prime Ministers Sir John Major and Sir Winston Churchill. From British Royal Family Prince Charles of Wales, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Anne, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward are among the members of the Royal Order.
The Supernumerary Knights, or “Foreigners”, are overseas monarchs appointed for the Order, and are added to the twenty-four knights or ladies. King Juan Carlos (King Felipe’s Father) of received the Order in 1988, the Princess (formerly Queen) Beatrix of the Netherlands(King Willem’s Mother) became a member of the Order in 1989.
The patron saint of the Order is St George (patron saint of soldiers and also of England) and if there are vacancies in the Order, appointments are announced on St George’s Day (23 April). The spiritual home of the Order is St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Every knight is required to display a banner of his arms in the Chapel, together with a helmet, crest and sword and an enamelled stall plate.
St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle is the spiritual home of the Order. Knights have their own stall, with the bearer’s banner, crest, helmet & sword displayed above, reminiscent of the Order’s chivalric origins. These items are removed upon death, but the stall plate remains.
A beautiful view of the chapel before the service.
The Duchess of Cambridge herself received an honour from Queen Elizabeth this year in April on her 8th wedding anniversary. She was appointed the Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order for services to the Sovereign.
The Royal Victorian Order was established in 1896 by Queen Victoria to recognise the personal service to the Monarch. Prior to the close of the 19th century, most general honours within the British Empire were bestowed by the sovereign on the advice of her British ministers, who sometimes forwarded advice from ministers of the Crown in the Dominions and colonies (appointments to the then most senior orders of chivalry, the Noblest Order of the Garter and the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, had been made on ministerial advice since the 18th century and were not restored to the personal gift of the sovereign until 1946 and 1947, respectively.
Queen Victoria thus established on 21 April 1896 the Royal Victorian Order as a junior and personal order of knighthood that allowed her to bestow directly to an empire-wide community honours for personal services. The organisation was founded a year preceding Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, so as to give the Queen time to complete a list of first inductees. The order’s official day was made 20 June of each year, marking the anniversary of Queen Victoria’s accession to the throne.
A Knight or a Dame Grand Cross is the highest rank of the order. The Duchess of Cornwall received the honour in 2012 while Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, in 2010. Prince Harry was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 2015. The Duchess recently wore the blue sash with red and white trim and the star of the order in recognition of her appointment at the State Banquet held in the honour of President Trump in June this year.
Prince William was appointed in 2008 and that year was Catherine’s first appearance at one of the most important events of Royal Calendar. It was also Catherine’s first public appearance as a Royal girlfriend with the royal family.
Ahead of the service, Queen Letizia and Countess Sophie had a discussion.
The annual iconic Garter Day procession, where The Queen and the Knights process in grand velvet robes, glistening insignia and plumed hats, is one of the most traditional ceremonies in the Queen’s calendar.
Every June, a grand procession of the knights takes place at Windsor Castle, accompanied by a marching band and Officers of the Order, all in grand ceremonial dress.
The day begins with The Queen formally investing any new Companions with the Order’s insignia in the Throne Room of the Castle. The Queen entertain the members and officers at a lunch, and then all process on foot to a service in St. George’s Chapel. Then in a short service, new Companions are installed.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge depart the #GarterDay service with The King and Queen of Spain — today King Felipe VI was installed as a Supernumerary, or ‘Stranger’, Knight of the Garter. pic.twitter.com/j135mD08FA
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) June 17, 2019
After today’s service at the chapel, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge accompanied King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain in a carriage for the royal procession towards the castle.
There are rumours going in media that William and Catherine might be in for a royal tour later this year that can have Spain in it.
On a historic day, Queen Letizia once again stunned the whole royal world with her fashion choice. While keeping her look economically stable she chose a stunning outfit from Spanish label Ana Cherubina.
She was wearing the Label’s, Didi Dress. €280 dress is described as, “The DIDI dress is made of twill fabric with an excellent fall and softness. It has fantastic puff sleeves with lantern cups and buttoned cuffs. The Perkins type collar brings a touch of unique elegance topped on the left side by small lined buttons. It is a midi length dress, with a silhouette cut at the waist by a sash drawn with stitching. Its print is exclusive to Cherubina”.
Letizia paired the outfit with Black Peony headband from the same label. The €240 headband is available on the online store of the label. The headband has a beautiful side decorated with a feather peony, topped by other goose feathers that give it height. Grid veil that adapts perfectly to the appearance of the face.
Queen was wearing a new pair of Manolo Blahnik snakeskin pumps with a custom black rubber platform.
Letizia finished her look with Diamond Chanton earrings from Spanish Royal Jewel collection known as “joyas de pasar”.
A look at Letizia’s hairstyle.
Few lovely shots of The Duchess of Cambridge and Queen Letizia of Spain at the service.
The Duchess of Cambridge also chose a stylish monochrome look.
She was wearing Catherine Walker Liza Coatdress. Thanks to Katie on Twitter for the quick id.
The coatdress is described as, “A contemporary take on a ’50’s look, this coatdress in ivory wool crepe has copped jacket ‘panels’ edged in fine black lace”.
Catherine paired the outfit with Lock & Co Lion Tamer Percher Hat that she first wore at her very first Trooping the Colour parade in 2011.
Duchess paired the outfit with Prada Wavy Cut Suede Pumps.
Duchess finished her look with Princess Diana’s Collingwood Pearl and Diamond Earrings.
Catherine was carrying her Stuart Weitzman ‘Muse’ Clutch that she also owns in other colours.
I am leaving you with these iconic pictures of Queen Letizia and The Duchess of Cambridge from today’s service.
On other news, The Duchess of Cambridge wrote a letter of support to her patronage EACH – Children Hospices.