Kate Middleton Always Has Fun at the Order of the Garter Ceremony and These Photos Prove It

The British royal family has a packed social calendar. They attend official royal engagements throughout the year and one of the oldest and most historic occasions is the Order of the Garter ceremony. Held annually, the ceremony seems to be a favorite for Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Ahead, see photos of the 38-year-old enjoying herself at the Order of the Garter through the years. 

What is the Order of the Garter? 

Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince William attend the Order of the Garter service in 2013
Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince William attend the Order of the Garter service in 2013 | Murray Sanders – WPA Pool/Getty Images

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Established by King Edward III in 1348, the Order of the Garter is the most elite British order of chivalry. Only a small number of people make up the Order of the Garter. It includes 24 members aka knights or ladies, Queen Elizabeth II, and the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles).

If there are any vacancies, new members are announced on St. George’s Day — the patron saint of the Order — before the procession and ceremony in June. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is among the members and yes, that means he’s a knight

Kate Middleton’s first Order of the Garter ceremony in 2008

The Duchess of Cambridge made her first appearance at the Order of the Garter ceremony back in 2008 when she’d been girlfriend to William.

Prince Harry, Kate Middleton, and Camilla Parker Bowles at 2008 Order of the Garter Service
Prince Harry, Kate Middleton, and Camilla Parker Bowles at 2008 Order of the Garter Service | POOL/ Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images

During the ceremony, Catherine appeared relaxed and poised. She stood with her future brother-in-law Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and her future stepmother-in-law Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

She’s always smiling and laughing at the event

After her 2008 appearance, Catherine wouldn’t show up at the Order of the Garter service until 2011 following her and William’s royal wedding. See her and Camilla sharing a laugh below. 

Camilla Parker Bowles and Kate Middleton attend 2011 Garter Service
Camilla Parker Bowles and Kate Middleton attend 2011 Garter Service | Kirsty Wigglesworth/WPA Pool/ Getty Imagesl

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Wearing a different outfit at the procession, Catherine talked animatedly with Camilla and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

Sophie Rhys-Jones, Kate Middleton, and Camilla Parker Bowles at the Order of the Garter Service
Sophie Rhys-Jones, Kate Middleton, and Camilla Parker Bowles at the Order of the Garter Service | Paul Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Maybe it’s the plumed hats or the velvet robes that make the Duchess of Cambridge smile. Whatever it is, she always seems to have a good time during the festivities. 

After the ceremony in 2014, Catherine rode in a carriage alongside her father-in-law, Charles. Sharing a sweet moment together they chatted during the procession. 

Prince Charles and Kate Middleton at the 2014 Order of the Garter Service
Prince Charles and Kate Middleton at the 2014 Order of the Garter Service | Chris Jackson – WPA Pool /Getty Images

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And in 2019 a joke must’ve been made because King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, his wife Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, and the Duchess of Cambridge all had smiles on their faces. 

King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands, Queen Maxima of The Netherlands, and Kate Middleton at the Order of the Garter service in 2019
King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands, Queen Maxima of The Netherlands, and Kate Middleton at 2019 Order of the Garter service | Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images

The same year, Catherine mingled with the guests. Among them Queen Letizia of Spain. They shared a laugh 

Queen Letizia of Spain and Kate Middleton at the Order of the Garter service in 2019
Queen Letizia of Spain and Kate Middleton at the Order of the Garter service in 2019 | Pool/Samir Hussein/Getty Images

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Will the Order of the Garter ceremony happen in 2020? 

In a statement made by Buckingham Palace on April 22, 2020, the royal family confirmed the Garter service won’t go on as scheduled due to the coronavirus.

“For practical reasons in the current circumstances all investitures due to be held at Buckingham Palace in June have been postponed. The annual Garter service at Windsor Castle has been cancelled,” the statement read.

It continued, noting the planning the event requires. 

“Events of this nature often involve considerable planning for attendees,” the palace said in the statement. “Mindful of current government advice, we have taken this decision to eliminate any uncertainty for guests due to attend.”

While Catherine won’t be attending the Order of the Garter service like in years past, she can reminisce on all the good times she’s had at the event.