St George and Chivalry

St George and English/British Chivalry
In1348, George was adopted by Edward 111 as principal Patron of his new order of chivalry, the Knights of the Garter. It is possible that the Order took its name from a pendant badge or jewel traditionally shown in depictions of Saint George. The insignia of the Order include a Collar and Badge Appendant, known as the ‘George’. The badge is of gold and includes a richly enameled representation of St George on horseback slaying the dragon. A second medal, the Lesser George, also depicting George and the dragon, is worn attached to the Sash. The objective of the Order was probably to focus the efforts of England on further Crusades to reconquer the Holy Land.
The earliest records of the Order of the Garter were destroyed by fire, but it is believed that either in 1334 or 1348 Edward proclaimed St George Patron Saint of England. Although the cult of St George was suppressed in England at the Reformation, St George’s Chapel, Windsor, completed in stages from 1483 to 1528, has remained the official seat of the Order, where its chapters assemble. The Monarch and the Prince of Wales are always Members, together with 24 others and 26 Knights or Ladies Companion.
Much later, in 1818, the Prince Regent, later George IV, created the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George to recognize exemplary service in the diplomatic field. The Order was founded to commemorate the British protectorate of the Ionian islands and Malta, which had begun in 1814. Originally membership was limited to inhabitants of the islands and to Britons who had served locally. In 1879 membership was widened to include foreigners who had performed distinguished service in all Commonwealth countries… The medal of the Order shows St George and the Dragon on one side and St Michael confronting the Devil on the other with the inscription, ‘auspicium melioris aevi’ (‘augury of a better age’).

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