Service for the Order of the Bath at Westminster Abbey

HRH Prince CharlesHRH The Prince of Wales, Great Master of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, attended a service for the Order at Westminster Abbey on 24 May 2018. Also included was a ceremony for the installation of Knights Grand Cross of the Order in the Lady Chapel.

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath was established as a military order by George I, by Letters Patent, on 18 May 1725 (Gazette issue 6376). The Dean of Westminster was made Dean of the Order in perpetuity, and the Abbey’s Lady Chapel designated the Chapel of the Order.

The Order was later expanded to include civil servants as well as military officers (Gazette issue 16972).

The Order’s origins were in a medieval custom when, before the ceremony, a knight took a ritual bath symbolic of spiritual purification and spent a night in prayer. The oath taken by new Knights Grand Cross includes a commitment to honour God above all things, to love the Queen, and to defend widows and orphans. 

Fanfares were sounded by trumpeters of the Band of the Prince of Wales’s Division, and the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment played.

See the names of the Knights Grand Cross of the Order who took the Oath and were installed in the chapel of the Order, and the senior knights, here, along with the order of service [pdf].

Images: Westminster Abbey/Andrew Dunsmore