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Preparations for an investiture©

An Investiture is the occasion when those who have been awarded an honour receive their Insignia from The Queen, or another member of the Royal Family.

Approximately 20 Investitures are hosted each year, the majority of which are held in the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace.

The Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, a branch of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, is responsible for the organisation of each Investiture. They coordinate the list of recipients, send out the invitations, prepare the Insignia and maintain the records relating to each Order. They are also responsible for briefing The Queen on each recipient’s achievements.

There are six Orders of Chivalry and four Orders of Merit currently in regular use, and within many of these there are a number of different classes.

The Insignia awarded reflects the class to which the recipient is appointed.

A Knighthood – or Damehood for women – is the highest class for several of the Orders, and a separate honour class also exists which is known as a Knight Bachelor.

During the knighting ceremony the recipient kneels on a velvet Investiture Stool and The Queen then lays a sword blade on the knight’s right and then his left shoulder, an action known as ‘dubbing’.

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.