The most distinguished order of knighthood is called the order of the garter.

The Order of the Garter is the oldest and by far the classiest of English orders of knighthood. It was founded in 1348 by King Edward III and the number of knights is limited is limited to 25, though a few supernumary (‘extra’) members are allowed. The Order’s motto is the famous ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ – ‘Accursed be he who thinks ill of it’). The regalia are splendid and include a 30 ounce gold chain …

When Edward III founded the Order, he believed that he was reviving one of the best traditions of King Arthur.

The Scottish counterpart is the Order of the Thistle and Irish counterpart is the Order of St Patrick but they are nothing like as old.