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Lord Phillips and Admiral Boyce made Knights of Garter

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image captionLord Phillips of Worth Matravers (l) and Admiral Lord Boyce are the 22nd and 23rd Knights of the Garter

The UK's highest ranking judge and an ex-head of the Armed Forces have been made Knights of the Garter, the country's highest order of chivalry.

The Queen bestowed the honour on President of the Supreme Court Lord Phillips and Admiral Lord Boyce, ex-Chief of the Defence Staff.

They will be officially appointed at a ceremony and service in June.

The Order of the Garter, established in 1348, honours contributions to national life or service to the Queen.

It was begun by Edward III and remains the most senior British order of chivalry.

Lord Phillips, 72, rules over the highest court in the land - the Supreme Court - which opened in October 2009 as a replacement for a special committee of the House of Lords.

Born Nicholas Addison Phillips, he is a former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, and has been a senior Law Lord since October 2008.

Michael Boyce, 68, was appointed First Sea Lord in 1998 and Chief of the Defence Staff in 2001, and was head of the Armed Forces at the time of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Queen's gift

Giving evidence to the Iraq inquiry, he described the Treasury's attitude as an "impediment" to the mission and criticised the government generally for its lack of "cohesion".

He retired eight years ago and now sits as a cross-bench member of the House of Lords.

The appointments are traditionally announced on St George's Day, but the official ceremonies take place on Garter Day in June, on the Monday of Royal Ascot week.

The appointment of Knights of the Garter is in the Queen's gift and is made without consulting ministers.

The Queen formally invests them in the Throne Room at Windsor Castle, followed by a service in St George's Chapel.

Other members include former prime ministers Lady Thatcher and Sir John Major as well as a number of British and foreign royals.

More on this story

  • Guide to the Honours