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King Charles gives prestigious new roles to four family members

One senior royal has been appointed to the Order of the Garter

Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
Updated: 23 April 2024
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King Charles has granted prestigious new roles to four senior members of the royal family, including his wife, Queen Camilla.

As formally announced by Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, Her Majesty has been appointed to be Grand Master and First or Principal Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

Previous Grand Masters have included the late Duke of Edinburgh, the late Queen's grandmother – Queen Mary of Teck, and King George VI when he was the Prince of Wales.

The King has also granted new honours to the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Prince William has been made Great Master of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath. 

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath was established by King George I in 1725, although it is believed to originally date back as far as the eighth century. It is awarded to members of the military or civil service for exemplary service.  

Previous Grand Masters have included Charles when he was Prince of Wales, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn.

Kate Middleton and Prince William on the Buckingham Palace balcony© Getty
William and Kate have been given new honours

And as a completely new appointment, Princess Kate has been appointed Royal Companion of The Order of the Companions of Honour. The Order was founded by King George V in 1917 to recognise outstanding achievements in the Arts, Sciences, Medicine and Public Service.

Meanwhile, there's a new royal addition to the Order of the Garter – the Duchess of Gloucester has become a Royal Lady Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and is likely to make her debut at the ceremony on 17 June.

Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester in grey suit© Getty
Birgitte married the Duke of Gloucester in 1972

Other appointments to the Order include Air Chief Marshal the Lord Peach, The Right Honourable the Lord Kakkar and Lord Lloyd-Webber.

Lord Peach, who served in the UK Armed Forces for 49 years, is the Prime Minister's Special Envoy to the Western Balkans, while Lord Lloyd-Webber is the UK's successful composer, having written the scores of some of the world's most famous musicals, including Cats and Phantom of the Opera.

Lord Ajay Kakkar is Emeritus Professor of Surgery, University College London, and President of the Thrombosis Research Institute, as well as a member of the House of Lords.

Which royals are members of the Order of the Garter?

King Charles and Prince William in feathered caps© Getty
Charles and William on Garter Day

The Order of the Garter is the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain, established by King Edward III nearly 700 years ago. The Order includes The King, who is Sovereign of the Garter, the Queen, several members of the royal family, and 18 Knights or Ladies chosen in recognition of their work. 

Current royal knights include the late Queen Elizabeth II's cousins - the Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra and the Duke of Gloucester, as well as the King's siblings - the Princess Royal, the Duke of Kent and the Duke of Edinburgh. 

King Charles and Camilla attend the Order of the Garter service 2023© Getty Images
The King and Queen at the service last year

Prince William made history when he was appointed in 2008 as he became the 1,000th Knight of the Garter, and in 2022, Queen Camilla made her debut at the ceremony as a Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter.

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