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Royal & Abbey – Garter Ribbon

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Fragment of the Order of the Garter ribbon reputed to have been worn by King Charles I on the day of his execution in 1649

What connects King Charles I to a group of 14th Century Knights?

The Most Noble Order of the Garter is the highest order of chivalry in the United Kingdom, awarded only to the Sovereign and up to 24 companions.

Established by King Edward III in 1348, the Order of the Garter had 25 founder knights. Various legends account for its name: The most popular legend involves the Countess of Salisbury. It said that while she was dancing at a court ball at Calais, her garter slipped from her leg. When the surrounding courtiers sniggered, the king picked it up and returned it to her, exclaiming, "Honi soit qui mal y pense" ("Shame on him who thinks evil of it."), the phrase that has become the motto of the Order.

King Charles I, as Monarch was the highest member of the Order of the Garter during his reign, just as HM Queen Elizabeth is today.