The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Twelve – Fun Fact

What do you think of when you hear the word knight? Most people picture a suit of armor or maybe jousting. This image may have been accurate at one point, but it’s fairly outdated now. Today our Fun Fact for The Prince and the Pauper for Chapter 12 focuses on…


Keep reading or watch the video for more information on the process of becoming a night, and some of the changes it’s undergone over time.

Reference in The Prince and the Pauper

“‘Rise, Sir Miles Hendon, Knight,” said the King, gravely—giving the accolade with Hendon’s sword—“rise, and seat thyself. Thy petition is granted. Whilst England remains, and the crown continues, the privilege shall not lapse.’” (p. 68)

In this scene, Edward decides to reward Miles for all that he has done to help him so far. In addition to granting him the privilige to sit in the presence of the king, he also makes him a knight.

How did one become a knight?

Step 1: Being a page

  • From age 7-10 to 13
  • Become familiar with horses, hunting, and the use of mock weapons
  • Probably sons of knights
  • Young nobles most likely sent to royal court for this training
  • Others sent to the local castle

Step 2: Being a squire

  • From age 14 to 18-21
  • Assist a full-knight, learn to use the weapons and armor, improve education (code of chivalry)
  • Clean weapons, polish armor, look after horses, etc. for a the real knight he was helping
  • Learned music, dance, reading/writing in Latin and French, also hunting wild animals and falconry

Step 3: A Knighting (Dubbing) Ceremony

  • Age 18-21
  • Performed by another knight
  • Involved an official ceremony
  • His sword would be blessed by a priest
  • The squire would kneel before the knight/king giving the honor
  • Tapped on the shoulders or neck with the hand or sword

Knights in Tudor Times

  • The Order of the Garter (Most prestigious order of chivalry (knights) at the English court)
  • Included the king, prince of Wales, and 24 companions
  • Members could nominate people
  • The king would appoint new knights (installation)
  • There used to be Ladies of the Garter (until 1488)

Knights Today

  • Order of the British Empire
  • Queen chooses not to elect her own knights
  • Chosen by the cabinet, appointed by the Queen twice a year
  • Must be recommended for doing something good for the Commonwealth of Nations
  • Modern knights: Lewis Hamilton, Sean Connery, Robert Redford, Bill Gates, Clint Eastwood, Michael Caine, Bob Hope, Paul McCartney, Patrick Stewart, Ronald Reagan, Elton John, Bono, George H.W. Bush and many more!

Knights in Literature/Film

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