Sunday, 19 August 2012

And So To Windsor and the Knights of the Garter

Taking with us the afore-mentioned book by the  ex-King, HRH the Duke of Windsor, KG, in order to look up references in the extensive index.  We were both fascinated to learn, in the great hall of St George, of the derivation of the Knights of the Garter, (KG).  Only in the mid-twentieth century was anyone not a Duke, Earl or Lord, or King of a foriegn land, designated with this honour. 

Round the walls of the hall are wooden panels, each listing, in numerical order, the name of every one of the  Knights since Edward III created the order in the distant past.  Each has his number. We have just reached the thousands, and I wanted to see who had the magic number 1,000.  It was Prince William, in 2008.  How lovely. We both think the world of the handsome prince.

As far as I could see, Stanley Baldwin was the first of common blood to be named KG.  Could it be a coincidence that he was also the Prime Minister who firmly blocked every avenue but abdication from the haplessly besotted Edward VIII? The designation is in the gift of the Sovereign. 

I had picked up from the book that the two brothers were very close, particularly in boyhood.  The popular story is that it was Elizabeth, the late Queen Mother, wife of younger brother George (who became George VI on the abdication), who put the boot in for the Windsors and spoiled any chance of reconciliation. Who knows. 

Anyway, it was interesting to note how no-one except Montgomery of Alamein and a handful of Conservative Prime Ministers (among them Margaret Thatcher) had made it on to the list.  We both found it amusing to note that Tony Blair has not been honoured, nor Gordon Brown.

I remarked ruefully that it was far too late in life now to make it my ambition to be honoured with the title of Knight of the Garter.

Later, we walked over the river to Eton.  I spotted an Age Concern shop, and acquired my eighth small teapot of the year, this one being a striking 1950's design in black and white.  It cost £1.  Hubby spotted a Gary Rhodes cookbook for £2.50 and bought it.  This is an amazing breakthrough - getting my husband into a charity shop at all, and then him actually buying a book!


  1. Your wish is my command!

  2. He came in with you? progress indeed.