Her Majesty The Queen, Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Great Master of the Order, 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 Friday 9th May 2014.
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: General Sir Roger Wheeler, Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Alcock, General Sir John Wilsey, General Sir John Waters, Field Marshal The Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank, Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon, General The Lord Ramsbotham, The Lord Butler of Brockwell, General Sir Brian Kenny, Field Marshal The Lord Inge, Sir Derek Oulton and Admiral Sir Jock Slater.
The ‘senior’ Knights present at the service, who have already been installed, were: Admiral of the Fleet Sir Benjamin Bathurst , Air Chief Marshal Sir Patrick Hine, Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Peter Harding, Sir Kenneth Stowe, 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 and Air Chief Marshal Sir Douglas Lowe
The Knights ‘in waiting’, who have yet to be installed, were: Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, General The Lord Richards, Sir David Normington, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, General The Lord Dannatt, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, The Right Honourable The Lord Janvrin, Sir Richard Mottram, Air Chief Marshal The Lord Stirrup, General Sir Michael Jackson, Sir David Omand, Admiral The Lord West of Spithead, Sir Hayden Phillips, Admiral Sir Nigel Essenhigh, Lord Wilson of Dinton, Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Squire, General Sir Jeremy Mackenzie, The Right Honourable The Lord Fellowes, The Right Honourable Sir John Chilcot, Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns, Sir Anthony Battishill, Sir Peter Gregson, The Lord Burns, Sir Clifford Boulton and Sir Terence Heiser.
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, Thomas Woodcock, Genealogist.
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 Daniel Cook, Sub Organist and before the service by Martin Ford, Assistant Organist. Fanfares were sounded by trumpeters of the Band of the Coldstream Guards under the direction of Major Darren Wolfendale, Director of Music. The band of the Irish Guards, under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Wayne Hopla, also played.
The Order of Service (PDF, 472 KB)