ONE of the Queen's most important ceremonies, The Order of the Garter, has been AXED for the first time in nearly 70 years to make way for the snap election.

Her Majesty was set to join the parade for the highest order of chivalry on June 19, but Prime Minister Theresa May's shock announcement earlier this month scuppered her diary.

It has been an annual event since it was reintroduced in 1948 and members of the Order would normally gather at Windsor Castle donning special clothing.

In modern times, the Order includes the Queen, who is Sovereign of the garter, senior members of the Royal Family and 24 knights chosen by the monarch in recognition of their work.

But this year's ceremony has been scrapped so Her Majesty can carry out her constitutional duties during the State Opening of Parliament in June.

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: "As announced by the government, the State Opening of Parliament will take place on Monday 19th June following the General Election.

"To allow Her Majesty to attend in support of the parliamentary and constitutional process, the Queen's programme of engagements has been revised. As a result, the annual service for the Order of the Garter, which had been due to take place on 19th June, has been cancelled. Knights of the Garter and others due to attend have been informed.

"Additionally, owing to the revised calendar, the State Opening of Parliament will take place with reduced ceremonial elements.

"Consequently, there will not be a carriage procession, the military presence at the Palace of Westminster will be minimal and the Queen will wear day dress rather than an evening gown and robes. The Imperial State Crown will be carried ahead of Her Majesty."

The Queen is accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent. The ceremony is attended by all Knights Companions of the order along with their wives.

They all wear the Garter's traditional blue velvet robes, hoods of red velvet worn over the right shoulder and black velvet hats with white feathers.