25 May 2010
HRH The Prince of Wales, Great Master of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, attended the Service and Ceremony of the Installation of Knights Grand Cross of the Order in Henry VII’s Lady Chapel, Chapel of the Order, at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday 25 May 2010.
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath was established as a military order by Letters Patent of George I on 18 May 1725, when the Dean of Westminster was made Dean of the Order in perpetuity and King Henry VII's Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey designated as the Chapel of the Order.
However, the Order was a revival of an older custom going back to medieval times when part of the ceremony of knighthood included a ritual bath symbolic of spiritual purification and a vigil the night before receiving the honour.
The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall who also read Philippians 4: 4-8.
The Knights of the Order who were installed in the Chapel of the Order of the Bath were: Admiral Sir Nicholas Hunt, Sir Peter Middleton, Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Peter Harding, Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, Air Chief Marshal Sir Patrick Hine, Sir Kenneth Stowe, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Julian Oswald, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Benjamin Bathurst and Air Chief Marshal Sir David Parry-Evans.
The ‘senior’ Knights present at the service, who have already been installed, were Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Kennedy, Sir William Fraser, Marshal of the Royal Air Force The Lord Craig of Radley, Sir Brian Cubbon, General Sir George Cooper, The Lord Armstrong of Ilminster, Admiral Sir Desmond Cassidi, General Sir Robert Ford, Admiral Sir James Eberle, Air Chief Marshal Sir David Evans, General Sir Peter Whiteley, Field Marshall The Lord Bramall, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Henry Leach, Air Chief Marshal Sir Douglas Lowe, Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Burnett.
The Knights ‘in waiting’, who have yet to be installed, were: General Sir Richard Dannatt, Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, Admiral Sir Jonathan Band, The Right Honourable The Lord Janvrin, Sir David Omand, Admiral The Lord West of Dinton, Sir Hayden Phillips, The Lord Wilson of Dinton, Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Squire, General Sir Jeremy Mackenzie, The Right Honourable The Lord Fellowes, Sir John Chilcot and Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns.
Also present were: Admiral The Lord Boyce, Bath King of Arms; Rear Admiral Iain Henderson, the Registrar and Secretary of the Order; Major-General Charles Vyvyan The Gentleman Usher of the Scarlet Rod; and Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Matheson of Matheson yr, The Deputy Secretary of the Order.
The service was sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey, conducted by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Robert Quinney, Sub Organist and before the service by James McVinnie, Assistant Organist. Fanfares were played by trumpeters of the Band of the Blues and Royals under the direction of Corporal of Horse Guards Grant Sewell-Jones. The band of the Life Guards, under the direction of Captain Kevin Davies, also played.
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