Abbey welcomes HRH The Prince of Wales to Bath service

Tuesday, 24th May 2022

HRH Prince Charles in a red cope

HRH The Prince of Wales, Great Master of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, attended the Service and Ceremony of the Oath and Installation of Knights and Dames Grand Cross of the Order at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday 24th May 2022.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, who also read the lesson from St Paul’s epistle to the Philippians chapter 4, verses 4 - 8.

The Installation of Knights Grand Cross

The Knights Grand Cross of the Order who took the Oath and were installed in Henry VII's Lady Chapel, Chapel of the Order, were:

  • General The Lord Richards of Hersmonceux
  • General The Lord Dannatt
  • Marshal of the Royal Air Force The Lord Stirrup

The Knights and Dame Grand Cross who took the Oath were:

  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier
  • Admiral Sir Philip Jones
  • Professor Dame Sally Davies
  • General Sir Nicholas Carter
  • General Sir Peter Wall
  • General the Lord Houghton of Richmond

Also present were: Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, Bath King of Arms; Rear Admiral Iain Henderson, the Registrar and Secretary of the Order; Major-General James Gordon, The Gentleman Usher of the Scarlet Rod; Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Segrave, Deputy Secretary of the Order; and David White, Genealogist.

HRH Prince of Wales arrives

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">HRH The Prince of Wales, Great Master of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, arrives for today’s ceremony. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Westminster Abbey (@wabbey) <a href="">May 24, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>


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 Peter Holder, Sub Organist.

Fanfares were sounded by trumpeters of the Band of the Household Cavalry, under the direction of Trumpet Major Julian Sandford. The Band of the Household Cavalry played under the direction of Major Paul Collis-Smith, Director of Music

Order of service - Knights and Dames Grand Cross Most Honourable Order of the Bath (PDF, 119KB)

The Order of the Bath

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. HM The Queen is Sovereign of the Order, and HRH The Prince of Wales its Great Master.

The Order is 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.

Today, recipients of the Order are usually senior military officers or senior civil servants. Famous holders of the Order have included Admiral Nelson, Earl Haig and Lord Kitchener. Women were admitted to the Order in 1971, with Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, appointed the first Dame Grand Cross.

Find out more about the Order of the Bath.