The Queen's Body Guard
of the Yeomen of the Guar

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Ceremonial Duties
Detailed History     
The Officers

Ceremonial Role
Fighting Role
Progresses and Pageantry
The Standard / Ensign

Garden Parties 
Garter Services
Maundy Services 
Opening of Parliament
Royal Funerals 
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The Ambassadors



Twenty-two Investitures are held each year, the majority at Buckingham Palace and up to 150 recipients attend each Investiture.  Windsor Castle is also a venue, as is The Palace of Holyrood House in Edinburgh, Scotland and Cardiff Castle in Wales.  If The Queen is unable to attend an Investiture herself (generally on a Friday), the awards will be presented by The Prince of Wales or The Princess Royal.  At 1055hrs five members of The Queen's Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard enter the ballroom at a slow march to their anthem "Men of Harlech". The Queen enters the Ballroom at 1100hrs attended by two Ghurkha Orderly Officers, a tradition begun in 1876 by Queen Victoria.  Four Gentlemen ushers-to-The-Queen are on duty to help look after the recipients and their guests and music is provided by an orchestra from one of the Bands of the Household Division. The Queen is escorted by either the Lord Chamberlain or the Lord Stewart who, after the National Anthem has been played, stands to Her Majesty's right and announces the name of each recipient and the achievement for which he or she is being decorated. The Queen lifts the decoration from a velvet cushion held by a senior member of the Household, generally the Master of the Household. The Secretary of the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood is responsible for ensuring that the correct decoration is placed on the cushion. Her Majesty is also attended by an Equerry-in-Waiting who will prompt The Queen of each recipient as he or she approaches.

Those who are to receive the Honour of Knighthood kneel on a velvet Investiture Stool to receive the Accolade, which is bestowed using a sword which King George VI used when, as Duke of York, he was Colonel of the Scots Guards. The Queen then Invests all recipients with the Insignia of the Award by dubbing the recipient once only on each shoulder. Most recipients are made members of one of the Orders of Chivalry. The Insignia that they receive reflects the Class to which they are appointed; A Knight or Dame Grand Cross receives a Badge on a Sash and a Star; A Dame Commander receives a Breast Badge and a Star; A male Commander of Companion receives a Neck Badge and a female Commander or Companion and a Lieutenant, Officer and Member receives a Breast Badge. Knights Bachelor do not belong to the Order and therefore receive only a Neck Badge. It should be noted that the Accolade of Knighthood is bestowed only once during a person's lifetime.

As well as these awards, recipients may attend an Investiture to receive a Decoration for Gallantry, such as the George Cross, the George Medal orMilitary Cross - one of three presented on 16 May 07 at Buckingham Palace to Capt Patrick Williams RHG/D; SCpl Shaun Fry LG and SCpl Michael Flynn RHG/D. The Queen's Gallantry Medal. Some recipients receive Awards such as The Queen's Police Medal, The Queen's Fire Service Medal or the Royal Red Cross. Occasionally an award for Gallantry may be made posthumously and in this case The Queen presents the Decoration or Medal to the recipient's next of kin at a private ceremony immediately before an Investiture begins.

Honours which may be presented at an Investiture include admission to the Order of the Companions of Honour for conspicuous service of national importance; to the Order of the Bath for either outstanding military service or public service; to the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George for service to the Crown overseas; to the Royal Victoria Order for personal services to The Queen or other Members of The Royal Family; or to the Order of the British Empire for either meritorious military service or civilian service to The Crown.

The Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, which is a department of the Lord Chamberlain's Office, is responsible for the organisation of each Investiture.

Those who for some reason are unable to attend an Investiture will receive their Award from a Lord Lieutenant acting on behalf of The Queen or from one of Her Majesty's representatives overseas.

Edited from the "Investiture at Buckingham Palace" Booklet received by all recipients and their guests at Investitures.   

Copyright 2019 The Yeomen of the Queen's Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard
Last modified: Tuesday, 01 October 2019 22:37