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The Order of the Garter (K.G.)
Why the symbol of a garter was chosen is uncertain. One theory lies with an event which took place at a ball attended by Edward III near Calais. The King, while taking part in celebrations to mark his victories in France, noticed a lady's garter which had fallen to the floor. Placing it on his knee he is reputed to have said to the assembled embarrassed company, I will make of it ere long the most honourable garter that ever was worn.
Following this in 1348, a feast took place at Windsor attended by King Edward and most of the noble ladies and knights in the country. A joust was organised between twelve knights chosen by the King and by the Black Prince; each wore robes and garters from the King's wardrobe. It is generally accepted that part of the pageantry included the institution of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.
It is now established as the premier order of Chivalry and its members consist of the The Sovereign, other members of the Royal family and 24 Knights Companions. Foreign Royalty may be admitted as Extra Knights.