Each June, on Garter Day, the members of the Order, wearing their habits and garter insignia, meet at Windsor Castle. When any new Knights of the Garter are due for installation, an investiture ceremony is held in the Throne Room of Windsor Castle on the morning of Garter Day. This ceremony is attended by all Knights Companions of the order, wearing the ceremonial habits and garter insignia, and also by their wives. The wording of the oath sworn by the new knights at this ceremony and of the Admonitions addressed to them in turn by the prelate and chancellor of the order when the several items of insignia are placed upon them are extremely similar to the traditions of the past.
At the investiture ceremony the Admonitions are read in turn by the prelate and chancellor of the order and several insignia are offered on a cushion to the Sovereign by Garter King of Arms, Black Rod, and the secretary of the order, in turn, so that the Sovereign may perform the ceremony of investiture. Two senior knights of the order assist the Sovereign in these ceremonies by placing the garter around the left leg of the new knight and by assisting the Sovereign in the fastening of the riband and Lesser George about the body of the new knight, and in the adjustment of the mantle and the collar. After the investiture ceremony at Windsor is concluded, a state luncheon is held in the Banqueting Room. This is attended by the royal family, by all the Companions of the Order and their spouses, and by the Officers of the Order. After the banquet all the knights and ladies of the order, together with the prelate, chancellor and other officers of the order, in their mantles and ceremonial robes, led by the Military Knights of Windsor, move in procession, watched by a great crowd of spectators, through the castle, down the hill, which is lined with troops, to Saint George's Chapel for a worship service, before which the formal installation of the new knights takes place.
While knights continued to be invested with their ensigns, the formal installation of knights at St. George's Chapel ceased in 1805. Installation, along with the annual Garter service, returned in 1948; on the occasion on the order's 600th anniversary.
Waterloo started on land that was part of a parcel of 675,000 acres (2,730 km2) assigned in 1784 to the Iroquois alliance that made up the League of Six Nations. The rare gift of land from Britain to indigenous people took place to compensate for wartime alliance during the American Revolution. Almost immediatelyand with much controversythe native groups began to sell some of the land. Between 1796 and 1798, 93,000 acres (380 km2) were sold through a Crown Grant to Richard Beasley, with the Six Nations Indians continuing to hold the mortgage on the lands.
The first wave of immigrants to the area comprised Mennonites from Pennsylvania. They bought deeds to land parcels from Beasley and began moving into the area in 1804. The following year, a group of 26 Mennonites pooled resources to purchase all of the unsold land from Beasley and to discharge the mortgage held by the Six Nations Indians.
Many of the pioneers arriving from Pennsylvania after November 1803 bought land in a 60,000 acre section of Block Two from the German Company which had been established by a group of Mennonites from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The Tract included most of Block 2 of the previous Grand River Indian Lands. Many of the first farms were least four hundred acres in size. The German Company, represented by Daniel Erb and Samuel Bricker, had acquired the land from previous owner Richard Beasley; he had gotten into financial difficulties after buying the land in 1796 from Joseph Brant who represented the Six Nations. The payment to Beasly, in cash, arrived from Pennsylvania in kegs, carried in a wagon surrounded by armed guards.
The Mennonites divided the land into smaller lots; two lots owned by Abraham Erb became the central core of Waterloo. Erb, often called the founder of Waterloo, had come to Waterloo County in 1806 from Franklin County, Pennsylvania. He bought 900 acres of bush land in 1806 from the German Company and founded a sawmill (1808) and grist mill (1816); these the focal point of the area. The grist mill operated continuously for 111 years. Other early settlers of what would become Waterloo included Samuel and Elia Schneider who arrived in 1816. Until about 1820, settlements such as this were quite small.
In 1816 the new township was named after Waterloo, Belgium, the site of the Battle of Waterloo (1815), which had ended the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. After that war, the new township became a popular destination for German immigrants. By the 1840s, German settlers had overtaken the Mennonites as the dominant segment of the population. Many Germans settled in the small hamlet to the southeast of Waterloo. In their honour, the village was named Berlin in 1833 (renamed to Kitchener in 1916).
By 1831, Waterloo had a small post office in the King and Erb Street area, operated by Daniel Snyder, some 11 years before one would open in neighbouring Berlin. The Smith's Canadian Gazetteer of 1846 states that the Township of Waterloo (smaller than Waterloo County) consisted primarily of Pennsylvanian Mennonites and immigrants directly from Germany who had brought money with them. At the time, many did not speak English. There were eight grist and twenty saw mills in the township. In 1841, the population count was 4424. In 1846 the village of Waterloo had a population of 200, "mostly Germans". There was a grist mill and a sawmill and some tradesmen. By comparison, Berlin (Kitchener) had a population of about 400, also "mostly German", and more tradesmen than the village of Waterloo."
Berlin was chosen as the site of the seat for the County of Waterloo in 1853. By 1869, the population was 2000. Waterloo was incorporated as a village in 1857 and became the Town of Waterloo in 1876 and the City of Waterloo in 1948.