Garter Knights

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Garter Knights

Postby BlueEmperor » Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:18 am

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Some of you will have been dimly aware that yesterday was St George's Day. Even few of you were probably aware that yesterday also marked the 657th anniversary of the founding of the Most Noble Order of the Garter by King Edward III in 1348. This anniversary was used yesterday by Her Majesty the Queen to appoint some new knights companion - including, finally, the former Conservative prime minister John Major.

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Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH

Membership of the Order of the Garter is limited to twenty-five people. However, the deaths of the Earl of Longford in 2001, the Duke of Devonshire in 2004 and Lord Callaghan of Cardiff last month reduced the number of members of the Order to twenty-two, thus enabling Her Majesty to appoint Sir John and two others on St George's Day. Along with Sir John, Her Majesty was graciously pleased to appoint the former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham of Cornhill, and the Lady Soames, the youngest daughter of the late Sir Winston Churchill and widow of the late Lord Soames.

The appointment of the Knights and Ladies of the Order of the Garter, the oldest Order of Chivalry in the world, is in the personal gift of Her Majesty the Queen and is, therefore, subject to neither ministerial advice or veto. I think it's about time that John Major was appointed. It is a gift customarily bestowed upon former prime ministers, with the exception that Scottish premiers tend to be awarded the Order of the Thistle instead. Sir Edward Heath and Baroness Thatcher are both members of the Order of the Garter.

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Rt Hon The Lord Bingham of Cornhill KG PC

Lord Bingham, who was made a life peer in 1996, served as Lord Chief Justice from 1996 to 2000 and has been the Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary since his retirement. The appointment of Lady Soames, formerly Mary Churchill, as a Lady of the Garter makes the first non-royal, father-daughter appointment in the Order's history. Lady Soames, who was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1980, undertakes extensive charity work and was instrumental in the creation of the Churchill Museum at the Imperial War Museum, which opened earlier this year.

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The Lady Soames LG DBE

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Postby wakeyboy » Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:27 am

Hey some of us (well I did) knew that Major was made a Knight of the Garter yesterday.
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Postby BlueEmperor » Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:30 am

Well, I didn't until about half an hour ago so I'm very happy about it.

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Postby wakeyboy » Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:31 am

It was buried deep in the bbc website.


I thought you might have brought it up.
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Postby BlueEmperor » Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:32 am

I think Lady Soames has done a lot of good as well. I'm less of a fan of Lord Bingham, with whom I disagree profoundly on the issue of a 'surpeme court' for the United Kingdom. However, he has been a long-serving servant of English law and deserves this recognition.

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Postby wakeyboy » Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:36 am

Lady Soames looks to be of fine stock!


A hearty lady if ever I saw one
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Postby Royalcounty » Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:39 am

Someone should have a word with the Queen. Has she forgotten the monumuntal screw ups and sleaze of the Major years? The only good thing that came out of his premiership was the fact that the public realised what a bunch of tossers the Conservatives are and threw them out. Or maybe that's why she's recognising his contribution?!
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Postby wakeyboy » Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:39 am

pathetic
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Postby BlueEmperor » Sun Apr 24, 2005 8:19 am

Yes, truly pathetic. A lot is said about Sir John's premiership but he was just unfortunate in my opinion. He was PM during the Gulf War and during his first years in office the world economy slid into recession after the long boom during the 1980s. I think it was a shame that, for ideological reasons and despite Sir John's best efforts, the Conservative Party collapsed into political infighting. He took a moderate approach but found himself undermined by the right-wing within the Party and the Cabinet. I have always regarded Sir John Major as a prime minister who tried to return to real Conservative values (though I disagreed with him over Europe) but was frustrated by the remaining Thatcherite elements in the Cabinet. Nevertheless, Sir John has always been a dedicated public servant, serving as a councillor on Lambeth Borough Council, as MP for Huntingdon, Foreign Secretary, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister. This reward from the Queen is also in personal recognition of his services to the Crown. Following the death of the late Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, Sir John was appointed a special guardian to Princes William and Harry, with responsibility for legal and administrative matters.

Sir John Major is an honest, decent, hard-working man whom I believe, under different circumstances, could have been a great prime minister.

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Postby LollyB » Sun Apr 24, 2005 12:08 pm

wakeyboy wrote:Lady Soames looks to be of fine stock!


A hearty lady if ever I saw one



At least she didn't get her looks from her dad.
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Postby Royalcounty » Sun Apr 24, 2005 1:06 pm

Well excuse me for not joining in the tory love-in. I think I remember the Major government a little bit better than either of you two. Pathetic describes it quite well though.
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Postby BlueEmperor » Sun Apr 24, 2005 3:06 pm

Well, I could well say the same of the late Lord Callaghan of Cardiff - who was awarded both the Garter and a peerage, despite his minority government being dominated by the Winter of Discontent. And what about Lord Kinnock's peerage? A man who was an utter failure as a politician and whose period as a European Commissioner was scandalous for his abject failure to root out corruption - and, indeed, to participate in it. Not to mention the sheer hypocrisy of his accepting a peerage.

The fact of the matter is, these judgements are all subjective and all of these men have served their country with varying degrees of success and deserve to have that service recognised - I have a harder time applying this statement to Lord Kinnock than I do the late Lord Callaghan, but there you have it.

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Postby Royalcounty » Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:49 am

Indeed. Without wanting to turn this into another debate about our awards system, it just strikes me as rather odd that we would give somebody an award for doing a bad job. As I said previously, pretty much all Major did achieve was to allow the Conservative party to tear itself apart and hand Labour a landslide victory (actually, 2 and possibly 3 landslide victories!).
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Postby BlueEmperor » Mon Apr 25, 2005 3:19 am

C'mon, Royal, even you can't be this uncharitable. Doesn't Sir John deserve any credit for the peace process in Northern Ireland?

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Postby Royalcounty » Mon Apr 25, 2005 4:17 am

A pat on the back perhaps, along with the others who worked hard on that. I'm sure you'll be equally charitable when Tony gets his!
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Postby diamond lil » Mon Apr 25, 2005 6:08 am

I think it's time to do away with it. Since they gave Butcher Haig a gong after the Great War, it's had no credibility.
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Postby BlueEmperor » Mon Apr 25, 2005 6:09 am

Quite so. I have no doubt that the customary Garter and peerage (once an earldom but now usually a life barony) will not be far behind Mr Blair's departure from office. Achieving the premiership of this country is a massive achievement in of itself and few PM's have not been honoured in their retirement. Out of every PM since Sir Robert Walpole, only eleven PMs have not received the Garter or a peerage: Henry Pelham (who died in office), George Grenville, William Pitt the Younger (who also died in office), Spencer Compton (who was assassinated), George Canning (again, died in office), Sir Robert Peel (though already a baronet, was never formally honoured), W. E. Gladstone, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (died in office just a plain knight bacehlor), Andrew Bonar Law (died shortly after leaving office), Ramsay MacDonald (presumably because of his socialist principles), and Neville Chamberlain.

A brief record of primeministerial honours:

Sir Robert Walpole (already given the Garter, later became Earl of Orford)
The Earl of Wilmington (died in office already given both the Garter and an earldom)
The Duke of Newcastle (already given both the Garter and a dukedom)
The Duke of Devonshire (already a duke, given the Garter upon appointment as PM)
The Earl of Bute (already an earl and a Knight of the Thistle. Later given the Garter)
The Marquess of Rockingham (already a marquess and a Garter Knight)
The Earl of Chatham (aka Pitt the Elder, already given an earldom, though never received the Garter)
The Duke of Grafton (already a duke. Given the Garter while in office)
Lord North (given the Garter while in office, later succeeded father as 2nd Earl of Guilford)
The Earl of Shelburne (given the Garter while in office, later created Marquess of Lansdowne)
The Duke of Portland (already a duke. Given the Garter inbetween his two ministeries)
Henry Addington (created Viscount Sidmouth but never received the Garter)
Lord Grenville (already a baron but never received the Garter or any advancement in the peerage)
The Earl of Liverpool (already an earl. Given the Garter while in office)
Viscount Goderich (already given a viscountcy, later created Earl of Ripon but never received the Garter)
The Duke of Wellington (already given a dukedom and the Garter among a raft of other honours)
Earl Grey (already an earl. Given the Garter while in office)
Viscount Melbourne (already a viscount and declined the Garter at least twice)
Lord John Russell (later created Earl Russell. Given the Garter inbetween his two ministeries)
The Earl of Derby (already an earl. Given the Garter inbetween his second and third ministeries)
The Earl of Aberdeen (already an earl and a Knight of the Thistle. Given the Garter upon leaving office)
Viscount Palmerston (already a viscount. Given the Garter while in office)
Benjamin Disraeli (later created Earl of Beaconsfield. Given the Garter while in office)
The Marquess of Salisbury (already a marquess and Garter Knight)
The Earl of Rosebery (already an earl and a Garter Knight. Later awarded earldom of Midlothian as a retirement honour, along with the Thistle)
A. J. Balfour (created Earl of Balfour on retirement and later given the Garter)
H. H. Asquith (created Earl of Oxford and Asquith on retirement and later given the Garter)
David Lloyd George (created Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor on retirment but never received the Garter - did receive Order of Merit, however)
Stanley Baldwin (created Earl Baldwin of Bewdley and given Garter on retirement)
Winston Churchill (offered dukedom but declined. Given the Garter during second term in office. Also received the Order of Merit - OM - and made a Companion of Honour - CH)
Clement Attlee (created Earl Attlee and later given the Garter)
Sir Anthony Eden (already a Garter Knight. Created Earl of Avon after retirement)
Harold Macmillan (created Earl of Stockton but never received the Garter)
Sir Alec Douglas-Home (disclaimed earldom of Home upon assuming premiership. Already a Knight of the Thistle, so entitled to title 'Sir'. Later granted life barony as Lord Home of the Hirsel)
Harold Wilson (given the Garter on retirement. Later granted life barony as Lord Wilson of Rievaulx. Also an Officer of the Order of the British Empire - OBE)
Edward Heath (given the Garter on retirement. Also a Member of the Order of the British Empire - MBE. So far not raised to the peerage)
James Callaghan (given the Garter and life barony as Lord Callaghan of Cardiff)
Margaret Thatcher (given the Garter and a life barony as Baroness Thatcher. Also a member of the Order of Merit - OM)
John Major (given the Garter. Also a Companion of Honour - CH)
Tony Blair (incumbant)

B.E.
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Postby Jonski » Mon Apr 25, 2005 6:22 am

BlueEmperor wrote:Spencer Compton (who was assassinated)


Spencer Percival, surely?
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Postby BlueEmperor » Mon Apr 25, 2005 6:32 am

Yes, sorry. Spencer Compton was the real name of the Earl of Wilmington. I always get them mixed up.

Oh, and it's spelled 'Perceval' with an 'e', not an 'i'.

:roll:

As a matter of record, the current members of the Order now are (in the order in which they were appointed):

HM The Queen (Sovereign of the Order)

HRH The Prince of Wales KG KT GCB OM AK QSO PC ADC
His Grace the Duke of Grafton KG DL
The Rt Hon The Lord Richardson of Duntisbourne KG MBE TD PC DL
The Rt Hon The Lord Carrington KG GCMG CH MC PC JP DL (Chancellor of the Order)
His Grace the Duke of Wellington KG LVO OBE MC DL
Field Marshal the Rt Hon The Lord Bramall KG GCB OBE MC JP
The Rt Hon Sir Edward Heath KG MBE
The Rt Hon The Viscount Ridley KG GCVO TD
The Rt Hon The Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover KG
The Rt Hon The Lord Ashburton KG KCVO DL
The Rt Hon The Lord Kingsdown KG PC
The Rt Hon Sir Ninian Stephen KG AK GCMG GCVO KBE
The Rt Hon The Baroness Thatcher LG OM PC
Sir Edmund Hillary KG ONZ KBE
Sir Timothy Colman KG JP
His Grace the Duke of Abercorn KG
Sir William Gladstone of Fasque and Balfour, Bt, KG DL
Field Marshal the Rt Hon The Lord Inge KG GCB DL
Sir Antony Acland KG GCMG GCVO
His Grace the Duke of Westminster KG OBE TD DL
The Rt Hon The Lord Butler of Brockwell KG GCB CVO PC
The Rt Hon The Lord Morris of Aberavon KG PC QC
The Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH
The Rt Hon The Lord Bingham of Cornhill KG PC
The Rt Hon The Baroness Soames LG DBE

Royal Knights and Ladies (supernumerary knights and ladies descended from King George I):
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT OM GBE AC QSO PC
HRH The Duke of Kent KG GCMG GCVO
HRH The Princess Royal LG LT GCVO QSO
HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO
HRH Princess Alexandra, the Hon Lady Ogilvy LG GCVO

Stranger Knights and Ladies:
HRH Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg
HM The Queen of Denmark
HM The King of Sweden
HM The King of Spain
HM The Queen of the Netherlands
HIM The Emperor of Japan
HM The King of Norway

B.E.
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Postby BlueEmperor » Sun May 01, 2005 5:25 pm

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THE ORDER OF MERIT

It seemed to make sense to tack this onto the end of the Garter thread than to start a whole new one. On April 28 Her Majesty the Queen was pleased to announce, following the recent appointments to the Order of the Garter, three new appointments to the Order of Merit: the naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough; the former Speaker of the House of Commons, Baroness Boothroyd; and the military historian Professor Sir Michael Howard.

I am particularly pleased by the granting of this most prestigious honour upon Sir David Attenborough, of whom I am a huge fan. His career, which has spanned more than fifty years, has included acclaimed series such as The Living Planet, The Trials of Life and The Life of Mammals. His thirteen-part masterpiece, Life on Earth, which he both wrote and presented in 1978, was alone watched by an estimated 500 million people worldwide. In 1965 he was appointed controller of BBC2 and was responsible for the introduction of colour television in the UK. From 1969 to 1973 he was the BBC's director of programmes. It is an exceptionally well-deserved award.

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Sir David Attenborough OM CH CVO CBE FRS

The Order of Merit,, founded by 1902 by King Edward VII, is a special mark of honour conferred by the Sovereign on individuals of exceptional distinction in the arts, learning, sciences and other areas. Appointments to the Order are, like those of the Garter, in the personal gift of the Queen and not subject to ministerial advice. There are twenty-four members of the Order, these appointments bringing the current membership to twenty-two. Vacancies in the Order of Merit were recently created by the sad deaths of Lord Porter of Luddenham, Sir George Edwards, Lord Jenkins of Hillhead and Professor Francis Crick.

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Rt Hon The Baroness Boothroyd OM PC

The current members are:

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT OM GBE AC QSO FRS
The Rev Owen Chadwick OM KBE FBA
Sir Andrew Huxley OM FRS
Dr Frederick Sanger OM CH CBE FRS
Dame Cicely Saunders OM DBE FRCP
The Rt Hon The Baroness Thatcher LG OM FRS
Dame Joan Sutherland OM AC DBE
Sir Michael Atiyah OM FRS
Mr Lucian Freud OM CH
Sir Aaron Klug OM FRS
The Rt Hon The Lord Foster of Thames Bank OM RA
Sir Denis Rooke OM CBE FRS
Sir James Black OM FRS
Sir Anthony Caro OM CBE
Prof Sir Roger Penrose OM FRS
Sir Thomas Stoppard OM CBE
HRH The Prince of Wales KG KT GCB OM AK QSO ADC
The Rt Hon The Lord May of Oxford OM AC PRS
The Rt Hon The Lord Rothschild OM GBE
Sir David Attenborough OM CH CVO CBE FRS
The Rt Hon The Baroness Boothroyd OM PC
Prof Sir Michael Howard OM

Nelson Mandela is also an honorary member of the Order.

B.E.
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Postby BlueEmperor » Tue Jun 14, 2005 11:21 am

The annual service of the Order of the Garter took place yesterday at Windsor Castle, during which Sir John Major, Lady Soames and Lord Bingham of Cornhill were all officially inducted into the Order.

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Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH

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