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  1. Garter, the most noble Order of the

    a celebrated order of knighthood instituted in 1344 by King Edward III.; the original number of the knights was 26, of whom the sovereign was head; but this number has been increased by extending the honour to descendants of George I., II., and III., and also to distinguished foreigners; it is the highest order of knighthood, and is designated K.G.; the insignia of the order includes surcoat, mantle, star, &c., but the knights are chiefly distinguished by a garter of blue velvet worn on the left leg below the knee, and bearing the inscription in gold letters Honi soit qui mal y pense, "Evil be to him that evil thinks"; election to the order lies with the sovereign.

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