Order of the Garter

} |- |} The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry and the third most prestigious honour (after the Victoria Cross and George Cross) in England and of the United Kingdom, and is dedicated to the image and arms of St. George as England’s patron saint. It is awarded at the Sovereign’s pleasure as a personal gift on recipients from the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms. Membership of the Order is limited to the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and no more than 24 members, or Companions. The order also includes supernumerary knights and ladies (e.g. members of the British Royal Family and foreign monarchs). New appointments to the Order of the Garter are always announced on St George’s Day, 23 April, as Saint George is the patron saint of England. The order’s emblem is a garter with the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense (Middle French: “shame on him who thinks evil of it”) in gold lettering. Members of the order wear it on ceremonial occasions.