If you thought Trooping the Colour was jam-packed with royals, then prepare to be amazed. Not only did the British royal family—Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate Middleton and the rest of the gang—show up at Windsor Castle today, but Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia and the Netherlands’s King Willem-Alexander and Queen Màxima joined the party, too.
So, why did basically every royal in the world gather today? To celebrate the Order of the Garter, of course.
The Order of the Garter dates back to 1348 when King Edward III, inspired by King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table, founded his own group of knights. It’s described as “the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain” on the royal family’s website and is more or less a gathering of people chosen for their impact on society. Previously, the Order of the Garter was expressly reserved for members of the aristocracy, but now men and women of all backgrounds are considered.
As you might have guessed, Queen Elizabeth is in charge of the whole event. So, she hosted a lunch for the new knights and their guests, which was followed by a procession through the grounds of Windsor Castle and the official service in St. George’s Chapel.