Howard may be included in the highest Order of Chivalry

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Sydney, Feb 10 (UNI) Former Australian prime minister John Howard could be in line to join one of Britain's most prestigious orders.

Speculation is rife that the former premier has been selected personally by Queen Elizabeth to recieve the Order of the Garter, the oldest British Order of Chivalry.

However, with the Buckingham Palace denying to either confirm or refute the speculation, Mr Howard will have to wait until April 23 when a final announcement is expected to be made, Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The Order of the Garter was founded by Edward III in 1348 and counts among its elite members 24 knights plus Royal knights.

Recipients of the Order are usually people who have held public office and contributed in a particular way to national life or who have served the Sovereign personally. If, chosen Mr Howard will replace mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary, whose death last month created a vacancy in the Order.

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