Royal Family

King Charles Just Broke A Medieval Royal Family Tradition

It marks a major first for the British monarch.

King Charles III broke a royal tradition.
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King Charles is breaking a centuries-old royal tradition. On April 23, the British monarch appointed new members to the Order of the Garter, the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in the United Kingdom.

The appointments happen via a royal service at Windsor Castle, in which the reigning king or queen selects new members to the group, which was created by King Edward III in medieval times. The reigning monarch recognizes those who “have held public office, who have contributed in a particular way to national life or who have served the Sovereign personally,” according to the royal family’s official website.

In 2024, Charles honored Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Air Chief Marshal Lord Peach, and the Right Honourable Lord Kakkar.

He also named the Duchess of Gloucester as a Royal Lady Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter — making her the first non-blood royal not married to the King or heir to be appointed to the position.

The Duchess of Gloucester is the wife of Prince Richard, the late Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin. She works as a full-time member of the royal family, supporting more than 60 charities focused on the arts, military, sports, health, and education, among other things.

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As stated on the royal family’s official website, the duchess also travels “extensively across the UK and overseas to undertake hundreds of engagements.” She regularly appears at annual royal events, including Trooping the Colour and King Charles and Queen Camilla’s May 2023 coronation.

This isn’t the only long-standing tradition broken by King Charles recently. Earlier this month, he announced that the once-private quarters of Buckingham Palace and Balmoral Castle would open their doors to visitors for the first time, starting this summer.