GREAT BRITAIN: Garters

One of England's mellowest legends concerns a Countess of Salisbury who found her garter slipping, in the merry, ardent days of Edward III (1312-77). Down and down slipped the garter until it tumbled before the knowing eyes of a pack of smirking courtiers. But Edward III, with instant chivalry, stooped, retrieved the ribbon, tied it just below his own royal knee, and exclaimed to the Courtiers in immortal reproof: "Honi soit qui mal y pense!" (Evil be to him who evil thinks!).

Soon no knightly honor was so prized as membership in the "Society of the Garter," founded by Edward...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!