A 700-year-old tradition founded by King Edward III in 1348 was clearly alive and well on Monday - as the Knights of the Garter Ceremony brought two royal couples from Europe into Windsor.

The colourful event happens every year as the 26 members of the Order of the Garter including the Queen and Prince Charles gather at the castle wearing their blue velvet robes and black velvet hats for the ceremonial service.

New knights are installed into the order at an investiture ceremony in the Throne Room of Windsor Castle.

This year saw King Felipe VI of Spain and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands officially invested - the first foreign royals to be so honoured since King Harald of Norway in 2001.

After the investiture they walked with the other knights to St George's Chapel for the service.

They had been accompanied to the event by their wives Queen Letizia and Queen Maxima, who were made to feel at home by Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Kate and the Queen of Spain made a particularly glamorous pair as they arrived together in their carriage.

The ladies all watched from the Galilee Porch outside St George's Chapel as the knights walked by in procession.

Hundreds of spectators from the public had also gathered outside to get a view of the colourful procession which is always one of the highlights of the summer season in Windsor.

*The Order of the Garter has its history firmly rooted in the mediaeval belief in chivalry.

The Countess of Salisbury allegedly lost her garter when it slipped from her leg at a Court Ball in 1349 whilst dancing with King Edward III.

To defend the lady's honour he is supposed to have said 'honi soit qui mal y pense' (evil to he who thinks evil of this) and created the new order of chivalry.