order of chivalry in England
The Most Noble Order of the Garter is an order of chivalry founded by Edward III of England in 1348. It is the most senior order of knighthood in the British honours system, outranked in precedence only by the Victoria Cross and the George Cross. The Order of the Garter is dedicated to the image and arms of Saint George, England's patron saint.
Appointments are at the sovereign's sole discretion, and are usually in recognition of a national contribution, for public service, or for personal service to the sovereign. Membership of the order is limited to the sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and no more than 24 living members, or Companions. The order also includes supernumerary knights and ladies (e.g., members of the British royal family and foreign monarchs).
The order's emblem is a garter with the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense (Middle French: "Shame on him who thinks evil of it") in gold lettering. Members of the order wear it on ceremonial occasions.
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