Close this search box.
The Universal Magazine

Prince William, New Grand Master of the Order of the Bath

Prince William accompanied by Kate Middleton in front of Buckingham Palace

This April 23, 2024, during the Saint George’s day celebration, King Charles III elevated his eldest son to the rank of Grand Master of the Order of the Bath. This honor prepares Prince William for a more significant role within the British monarchy.

Prince William, aged 41, succeeds his father, who led this order for nearly fifty years. It was created under the reign of Queen Victoria as the Military Order of the Bath. The order includes high-ranking military officers and elite civil servants. It holds a prominent place in the hierarchy of British distinctions.

Members of the Order of the Bath rank just after those of the Order of the Garter and the Order of the Thistle in terms of precedence. Although the St. Patrick’s Order is historically higher, it is no longer active, thus leaving the Order of the Bath in third position.

The religious service associated with this order takes place every four years at Westminster Abbey. The next one is scheduled for 2026. It will be a first for Prince William as Grand Master.

The origins of the order date back to a tradition established by King Henry IV in 1399, which consisted of a purification ceremony by bath before the coronation. Officially established by King George I in 1725, the order still celebrates this ancient practice of purification.

Today, Prince William takes over as Grand Master, thus continuing the long and rich history of this order. His role as head of the order confirms his growing importance within the royal family despite painful personal trials.