His Majesty The King has been graciously pleased to appoint the Right Honourable the Baroness Ashton of Upholland GCMG to be a Lady Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and the Right Honourable the Lord Patten of Barnes CH to be a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.
The appointment of the Knights and Ladies of the Garter is in The King’s gift. Appointments to the Order of the Garter are therefore in the same category as the Order of the Thistle, the Order of Merit and the Royal Victorian Order.
The Right Honourable the Baroness Ashton of Upholland, GCMG PC (b. 1956)
Catherine Margaret Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland, is a former Labour Government Minister and European Union diplomat, who served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of Education and the Ministry of Justice between 1999 and 2007. Baroness Ashton has served as Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council; British European Commissioner and Commissioner for Trade in the European Commission; Vice-President of the European Commission. As the E.U.’s first High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, she contributed towards negotiating a peace settlement between Serbia and Kosovo, and bringing about the Iran nuclear agreement.
Baroness Ashton was appointed a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to international diplomacy. She has served as the Order’s King of Arms and is currently Chancellor of the Order.
The Right Honourable the Lord Patten of Barnes, CH PC (b. 1944)
Christopher Francis Patten, Baron Patten of Barnes, is a former Conservative Member of Parliament who became the final Governor of Hong Kong from 1992-1997. Lord Patten was first elected as an MP in 1979 and served across Government for over two decades, including as Secretary of State for the Environment and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, as well as Conservative Party Chairman. Lord Patten also led the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland and served as European Commissioner for External Relations from 1999 to 2004. He was Chairman of the BBC Trust between 2011 and 2014.
Lord Patten was Chairman of the BBC Trust between 2011 and 2014, and was appointed a Companion of Honour in 1998. He served as Chancellor of Newcastle University between 1999-2009 and was elected Chancellor of Oxford University in 2003, a post he still holds.