Earlier this week, several of the Dean Close community were very privileged to attend the Service of the Most Noble Order of the Garter at St George’s Chapel Windsor. Guests were in the presence of HM The Queen and many members of the Royal Family, as well as all the Knights of the Garter. The Order is the oldest and highest order of chivalry in the land, dating back to the 14th Century. Dean Close teachers Helen Porter, Lynne Lawrence and Lloyd Allington met the former Warden of Dean Close School, Roger Jones and his wife Sue for lunch before the service, at which the organ was played by Jason Richards, OD. Andrew Thompson, OD is a Lay-Clerk (a member of the distinguished choir) at St George’s Chapel. Also present were Jason’s mother, Cathy, and his sister, Judy Richards, OD and his brother George, currently in Year 10. There was a large Decanian contingent: Sarah Duffin OD was at the service; and present outside the Chapel in Horseshoe Cloister were her parents Ian and Paul. Paul Hodges, OD, former Head of Field and a leading musician at Dean Close in his day; Maddie Harris, OD, who left DC last summer; and James Townsend, OD.
The service is an annual event when all the Knights of the Garter process in their magnificent robes of blue velvet and white plumes, escorted by the Military Knights of Windsor and the Yeoman of the Guard, and many other grandees. It is the most extraordinary and stunning spectacle – and perhaps has the most impressive ceremonial of the royal year, next to the State Opening of Parliament. It was very exciting to see Dean Close so well represented at this most prestigious of events, and especially to witness the great talents of Jason Richards on the magnificent organ of St George’s Chapel.