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Charles and Camilla in Garter robes© Getty

King Charles and Queen Camilla lead on Garter Day as non-blood royal relative makes history - best photos

The royal family stepped out in Windsor for the ancient ceremony

Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
Updated: June 17, 2024
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The King and Queen stepped out for the annual Garter Day service at Windsor Castle, as they continued their busy summer of engagements.

Charles' appearance comes just two days after the Trooping the Colour ceremony in London, where the Princess of Wales made her first public appearance of the year amid her cancer treatment.

Garter Day saw Ladies and Knights of the Order of the Garter – the country’s oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry – process down the hill from the Berkshire castle's State Apartments to St George's Chapel, dressed in white plumed hats and dark blue velvet robes, watched by crowds of onlookers.

The ceremony heralds a busy period for the royals, with the King and Queen expected at Royal Ascot in the coming days, and the following week they will host a state visit by Japan's Emperor.

Hundreds of spectators lined the procession route with many taking hampers and camping chairs to add a summer picnic feel to the occasion.

WATCH: HELLO!'s Royal Editor Emily Nash is at Garter Day

The Duchess of Gloucester, who is married to the late Queen Elizabeth II's cousin, Prince Richard, also made history as the first non-blood royal, not married to the monarch or the heir, to be made a Royal Lady of the Garter.

The Duke of York, a member of the order, did not join the service. Prince Andrew stepped down from public life after the furore over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and paid millions to settle a civil sexual assault case with Virginia Giuffre, a woman he claimed never to have met.

See the best photos from the ceremony…


 Members of the Household Cavalry Regiment marching ahead of the Order Of The Garter Service at Windsor Castle© Getty

Crowds gather for Garter Day

Members of the public who were lucky enough to get tickets for the service, assembled inside the grounds of Windsor Castle to catch a glimpse of the royal family. 

Members of the Household Cavalry Regiment marched ahead of the Order Of The Garter Service. 


Duchess Sophie wearing pink floral dress on Garter Day© Getty

The Duchess of Edinburgh

The Duchess of Edinburgh looked picture perfect in a pink and cream floral dress with a matching hat, as she watched the proceedings from the Galilee porch. 


Queen Camilla smiles on Garter Day© Getty

The King and Queen lead the royals

The King and Queen led the royals in the procession from the State Apartments at Windsor Castle to St George's Chapel.

Camilla was installed as a Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter in 2022. 


Prince William walks behind Princess Anne on Garter Day© Getty

The Princess Royal

Following closely behind was the Princess Royal, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh.  


Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester, Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh, Anne, Princess Royal, Prince William, Prince of Wales, Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth and The Lady Usher of the Black Rod, Sarah Clarke OBE© Getty

The Prince of Wales

Then Kate Middleton was invited to join the royals on Garter Day in 2008 when her then boyfriend Prince William became the thousandth Royal Knight of the Garter.


Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester© Getty

Duchess of Gloucester makes history

The Duchess of Gloucester made history as she became the first non-blood royal who wasn't married to the monarch or the heir to be appointed to the position as a Royal Lady.


Andrew Lloyd Webber, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Former Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair and Catherine Ashton attend the Order Of The Garter Service at Windsor Castle© Getty

Andrew Lloyd-Webber

The installation of new Companions of the Order – including composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber, who has been made a Knight Companion – took place during the service. 

Theatre impresario Lord Lloyd Webber, whose hit musicals include The Phantom Of The Opera, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, attended a private investiture in the castle’s Garter Throne Room earlier in the day. 

He was joined by former prime ministers Sir Tony Blair and Sir John Major and Baroness Amos in the procession.


Prince William smiles on Garter Day© Getty

All smiles

At one point, the Prince of Wales flashed a big grin to the photographers as he took part in the procession.


Lord Ajay Kakkar and Lord Stuart Peach at order of garter service © Getty Images

Lord Kakkar and Lord Stuart Peach

Also invested were Lord Kakkar, emeritus professor of surgery at University College London, and Air Chief Marshal the Lord Peach, who have both been made Knight Companions.


royals leaving in carriage after order of the garter service© Getty Images

The royals make their departure

After the service, the royals took part in a traditional carriage procession back up the hill to the castle. Prince William rode in a carriage with Duchess Sophie and Prince Edward, King Charles and Queen Camilla left by coach, and Princess Anne and her husband Sir Timothy Laurence followed behind. 


Princess Kate wearing black and white polka dots and a hat

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