Royalty and statesmen

The Queen ascends the steps of St Paul's Cathedral in full ceremonial garb to take part in a religious service of the Order of St Michael and St George
Photo: © Rex
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The monarch is greeted by her cousin, the Duke of Kent. His vestments include The Knight and Dame Grand Cross' star, bearing the Order's motto Auspicium melioris ævi - 'Token of a better age'
Photo: © Rex

Pomp and drama as Queen takes part in chivalry service

17 JULY 2008
Visitors to London got a glimpse at a slice of British historical ceremony on Wednesday as Queen Elizabeth attended a lavish event at St Paul's Cathedral. The monarch, wearing dramatic royal blue robes and with a tiara adorning her head, was greeted by the capital's Lord Mayor before she ascended the cathedral steps to take part in a service Commemoration and Dedication for the Order of St Michael and St George.

The sixth highest British order of chivalry, The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George dates back to 1818 when it was established by the Prince Regent, later George IV.

Joining the Queen at the ceremony - during which each member of the Order is invited to renew their commitment to faith and service - was the monarch's cousin the Duke of Kent. The Duke was also attired in the elaborate vestments of the Order, which include The Knight and Dame Grand Cross' star, which incorporates the red cross of St George, the Latin motto Auspicium melioris ævi - 'Token of a better age', and a representation of St Michael overcoming Satan.

Members of the Order who have passed away since the last Service were also paid tribute to at the event.