King Charles just broke with medieval royal tradition

King Charles breaks with centuries of royal tradition. On April 23, the British monarch appointed new members of the Order of the Garter, the oldest and highest-ranking order of knighthood in the United Kingdom.

These appointments are made through a royal ceremony at Windsor Castle, where the reigning king or queen selects new members for the group, which was founded by King Edward III in the Middle Ages. According to the royal family's official website, the reigning monarch recognizes those "who have held public office, contributed in particular ways to the life of the nation or who have served the monarch personally."

In 2024, Charles awarded the honor to Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Air Marshal Lord Peach and Lord Kaka.

He also appointed the Duchess of Gloucester as a Royal Companion of the Order of the Garter - making her the first non-blood royal not married to the king or heir to be appointed to the position.

The Duchess of Gloucester was the wife of Prince Richard, cousin of the late Queen Elizabeth II. As a full-time royal, she supports more than 60 charities, focusing on the arts, military, sports, health and education.

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The Duchess also "travels extensively throughout the UK and overseas, attending hundreds of events," as stated on the royal family's official website. She regularly appears at annual royal events, including Trooping the Color and King Charles and Queen Camilla's coronation in May 2023.

This isn't the only long-standing tradition King Charles has broken recently. Earlier this month, he announced that the once private residences of Buckingham Palace and Balmoral Castle would open their doors to visitors for the first time starting this summer.