I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy St George's Day

Several weeks ago, I was speculating on the rumours that our former PM, John Howard, might be made a Knight of the Order of the Garter, but I heard this morning from David, of Heraldry Australia, whom I met last week, that the gong has been give to two Englishmen, Lord Luce, and Sir Thomas Dunne. But all the media attention will go to Prince William. As a member of the Royal family, he doesn't count as one of the 24 Companions, but he will be counted as the 1000th member of the Order. That's quite a clever and neat piece of royal appointing, no?

Here's the text from the Press Association Website:

From The Press Association Website
Prince William given Knight honour
2 hours ago

Prince William is to join other members of his family as a Royal Knight of the Garter

He becomes a Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter - the most senior British order of chivalry - and the 1,000th Knight in the Register.

His father the Prince of Wales received the honour in 1958, the Princess Royal in 1994, and the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex two years ago.

Members of the Royal family are additional to the established number of 24 Knights Companion.

These were depleted by the deaths of former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath and the conqueror of Mount Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary.

It was announced that the vacancies would be filled by Lord Luce, who was Lord Chamberlain from 2000 to 2006, and Sir Thomas Dunne, Lord-Lieutenant of Hereford since 1977 and chairman of the Lord Lieutenants Association.

That means the honour has not been given to former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, despite speculation in Australia that it would be. Appointments to the Order are in the Queen's gift, without advice from Government ministers.

The oldest Order of British chivalry was established in 1348 by Edward III, and is said to have been inspired by events at the ball in France attended by the King and Joan, Countess of Salisbury.

The Countess is believed to have dropped her garter, causing laughter. The King picked it up and wore it on his own leg, uttering the phrase "Honi soit qui mal y pense" or "Shame on him who thinks this evil" - now the Order's motto.

Its emblem is a blue ribbon or garter worn by men below the left knee and women on the left arm. Each year in June a procession and service take place at Windsor Castle for the Order.

And here they all are:

They used to look like this:

but they've "modernised" a tad, especially in the trousers department:

This makes me realise I haven't blogged much about my book: not sure why. Perhaps it's time to start doing so. This is a world away from the GetUp mob's riff on Sorry Day, isn't it?

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