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Smiling William shares a chat with uncle Edward during ancient Order of the Garter procession as royals join King and Queen at Windsor Castle – after Kate’s Trooping the Color boost to the nation

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Smiling William shares a chat with uncle Edward during ancient Order of the Garter procession as royals join King and Queen at Windsor Castle - after Kate's Trooping the Color boost to the nation

 

Prince William chatted with his uncle Prince Edward during the Order of the Garter procession this afternoon as they joined the King and Queen at Windsor Castle. Charles and Camilla led members of the Royal Family to the annual Garter Day service at St George’s Chapel as the busy royal summer period began in earnest.

 

Smiling William shares a chat with uncle Edward during ancient Order of the Garter procession as royals join King and Queen at Windsor Castle - after Kate's Trooping the Color boost to the nation

Other royals at the traditional celebration commemorating the ancient Order of the Garter included Princess Anne and Edward’s wife Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh. The King’s appearance comes just two days after the Trooping the Color ceremony in London where he was joined by fellow cancer patient the Princess of Wales. But Kate did not attend today’s service, and her chemotherapy treatment continues.

Queues lasting more than two hours had built up outside the castle this morning, with visitors bringing camping chairs as they prepared for a long wait to get in. While the main castle was shut to the public today, people queued to get a glimpse of those attending the service from 3pm at the chapel which is within the grounds. Shortly before 3pm this afternoon, the King donned heavy blue velvet robes and his ostrich-plumed hat as he headed the Order for the service after an annual lunch.

Watched by Sophie and Anne’s husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence from the sidelines, the King, Queen, William, Anne and Edward made their way down to the Lower Ward in brilliant sunshine and blue skies. Kate also normally attends to watch her husband, William, taking part. But last week Kensington Palace confirmed that she would not be there this year due to her ongoing cancer treatment.

The beleaguered Duke of York – now a non-working royal – attended the lunch in his role as a Royal Knight Companion but, as last year, was not permitted to join the procession. Andrew stepped down from public life after the furore over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and paid millions to settle a civil sexual assault case with Virginia Giuffre, a woman he claimed never to have met.

Frail Princess Alexandra is a Royal Lady Companion but did not attend for ‘her own comfort’. At 2.45pm the grand procession began to make its way down to the chapel from the castle quadrangle before the service at 3pm. It was headed by the Governor of Windsor Castle and the Military Knights of Windsor followed by heralds and then the knights of the order themselves including Sir John Major, Sir Tony Blair and Baroness Manningham-Buller.

As the King and Queen arrived at the door to the chapel, a fanfare of trumpets was played. The Duke of Kent, also a Royal Knight Companion, was waiting in the chapel and did not take part in the procession – again because of his health. However, Sophie and Vice Admiral Sir Tim both attended as guests.

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