Royal wedding venue steeped in British history

  • Wednesday 16, May 2018 in 11:20 AM
Sharjah 24 – AFP: St. George's Chapel, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will tie the knot on Saturday, is a royal church steeped in centuries of British history.
The final resting place of kings and queens and the epicentre of English chivalry, the Windsor Castle chapel has witnessed multiple royal weddings and state occasions.
 
When Harry and Meghan wed, they will be surrounded by tombs of his ancestors as well as  priceless relics and heraldry dating back to the Middle Ages.
 
Inspired by King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table, King Edward III founded the Order of the Garter, the most prestigious order of chivalry, in 1348.
 
He made Windsor's chapel its mother church and rededicated it to St. George, England's patron saint.
 
In an annual ceremony which still continues, knights walk to the chapel in a grand procession, dressed in their garter robes: heavy blue velvet capes and black velvet hats with elaborate white ostrich plumes.
 
The order is limited to 24 living companions, whose banners hang in the chapel. Each knight has a brass plate depicting their coat of arms on their seat.
 
Current members include 1990s prime minister John Major, former Bank of England governor Mervyn King, and ex-MI5 chief Eliza Manningham-Buller.
 
Foreign knights include the kings of Spain, Norway and Sweden, and Japan's Emperor Akihito.
 
Harry's brother and best man Prince William is the 1,000th knight.