Order of the Garter Investiture at Windsor Castle, 1906

King Edward VII invested his son-in-law, King Haakon VII of Norway, into the Most Noble Order of the Garter in a splendid ceremony at Windsor Castle, during the first Norwegian State Visit to Britain which ended on this day in 1906 (115 years ago). Prince Charles of Denmark (King Haakon) and the British-born Queen Maud succeeded to the Norwegian Throne the previous year, and King Haakon later spent his exile during the Second World War in the United Kingdom before a State Visit to Britain in 1951. The Queen and Duke’s State Visit to Norway in 1955 was the first outgoing State Visit of her Reign, followed by another in 1981, and one in 2001. They have hosted the Norwegian Royal Family in 19511959, 1962, 1988, 1994, and 2005.

From the Court Circular:

the King had held a ‘Chapter of the Garter at 7.30 o’clock… in the Castle, for the purpose of investing his Majesty The King of Norway with the Insignia of this Most Noble Order. The ceremony was witnessed by the following already assembled in the Throne Room: The Queen (wearing the George IV State Diadem and mourning for her father King Christian IX of Denmark), Queen of Norway (likely wearing her Diamond Tiara), the Princess of Wales, Princess Victoria, Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, the Duchess of Connaught, Prince Philip of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Princess Victoria and Louise Augusta of Schleswig-Holstein, and the Duke of Argyll.’

From Regal Events:

This special ceremony had not been performed since 1855 when King Victor Emmanuel of Sardinia and Emperor Napoleon II of the French had been invested with the Order. These were not the last Royal knights to receive the Order of course, but in any of the subsequent cases no such elaborate and solemn ceremony had been performed. Well, maybe not so solemn for everybody as it has since been revealed that Queen Maud had fought very hard not to burst out in laughter at some point during the ceremony. And other Royal ladies present were seen pinching themselves in order to try and stop giggling. But King Edward probably wanted such a grand ceremony to show everybody that it was indeed something special when he invested his son-in-law made King with the Most Nobel Order of the Garter.

The ceremony itself took place in the Throne Room. But ahead of this all those previously knighted and who were able to be present for the ceremony gathered in the Waterloo Room. All of them were dressed wonderfully in their splendid robes and insignias. At seven o’clock they then formed a procession and made their way to the Throne Room. It must have been quite a sight. The heavily decorated room, with the State Portrait of King George I, King George II and King George IV hanging on the wall and the splendid Throne of Kandy placed at the far end wall must have been impressing in its own right. But once filled with all the Knights, the officers in their splendid uniforms and the ladies in their glittering robes and jewels it must have looked absolutely heavenly, especially for anybody who appreciates the pomp and ceremony connected to the monarchy.

King Edward took his place on the throne at the end of the room. Queen Alexandra took her place to the King’s left. She was dressed in a sparkling black dress due to the fact that she was still in mourning for her father, the late King of Denmark. Over the dress she wore the distinctive heavy mantle of the order and its blue Sash and Star. Then the Royal Knights, which included the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Connaught, Prince Arthur of Connaught and Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, took their place at the end of the large table closest to the throne. Other members of the Royal Family present were HM The Queen of Norway, HRH the Princess of Wales, HRH Princess Victoria of Wales, HRH Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, HRH Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, HG the Duke of Argyll, HRH the Duchess of Connaught, HH Prince Philip of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha and TH Princess Victoria and Princess Marie Louise (reported with the names Louise Augusta) of Schleswig-Holstein.

Once all the Knights had taken their place the Order’s Chancellor, the Bishop of Oxford, read out aloud the Statues of the Order and declared His Majesty the King of Norway a Royal Knight Companion of the Order. The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Connaught then escorted King Haakon into the room. The insignias of the Order were carried in front of him on large scarlet cushions trimmed with golden fringes. All the Knights, including King Edward, rose. The British King then addressed his son-in-law and signalled to him to take place at his right hand side. The cushion upon which the Garter rested was then presented to King Edward. He removed it and with the help of the other Royal Knight Companions they placed the Garter just below King Haakon’s left knee. King Edward then proceeded to fasten the Star of the Order to the tunic of the Norwegian King. Finally King Haakon received the Chain of the Order from his father-in-law. After the ceremony a grand State Banquet was held in St George’s Hall.

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Regal Events | RCT

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