The age of chivalry engendered societies whose membership was restricted to knights. Of these the earliest in England was a society known as the Order of the Garter1, founded by Edward III in or about 13482. It is limited to 24 knights in addition to the Sovereign (who is head of the order) and the Prince of Wales, but the Sovereign has the power to create additional royal knights and may appoint foreign Sovereigns as extra knights. Provision was made for the appointment of foreign knights in 1954. Historically the Garter was not normally bestowed on peers, particularly prior
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