Investiture (from the Latin preposition in and verb vestire, "dress" from vestis "robe"), is the formal installation or ceremony in which a person is given the authority and regalia of a high office.

Investiture can include formal dress and adornment such as robes of state or headdress, or other regalia such as a throne or seat of office. An investiture is also often part of a coronation rite or enthronement. It was prevalent in the Middle Ages.


Investiture is the installation of individuals in institutions that usually have been extant from feudal times. For example, the installation of heads of state and various other state functions with ceremonial roles are invested with office. Usually the investiture involves ceremonial transfer of the symbols of the particular office.

Judges in many countries, including justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, are invested with their office. American justices typically take two oaths: one to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and the other to apply justice equally.[1] Likewise, university presidents, rectors and chancellors are invested with office.

Other usesEdit

Lieutenant General Miles Dempsey is invested with his knighthood as Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, in the field of battle, by King George VI on 15 October 1944, while General Bernard Montgomery looks on.

In the United Kingdom, around 2,600 people are invested personally by Queen Elizabeth II or another member of the royal family each year. A list of those to be honoured is published twice a year, in either the New Year Honours or the Birthday Honours. Approximately 25 investitures are held annually, most in the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace, although the Waterloo Chamber in Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland, are also used.[2] In 2014 The Prince of Wales held an investiture at Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland.[3] Investitures are also held in other Commonwealth realms, when the governor-general acts on behalf of the Queen.[4]

The poem "The Investiture" by English poet, writer, and soldier Siegfried Sassoon is about a young man who was killed in battle during World War I.[5]

The term is used in the Scout Association when enrolling a new youth member or an existing member is moving to a different section such as from Cubs to Scouts,[6] and for the ceremony in which a new member of the Boy Scouts declares their commitment to Scouting traditions.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Preparations Begin for Roberts' Swearing In". Fox News. 29 September 2005.
  2. ^ "Investitures". Royal Household.
  3. ^ "Prince of Wales gives OBE and MBE honours at Hillsborough Castle". BBC News.
  4. ^ Investiture Ceremonies, Governor General of Australia, accessed 2021-20-07
  5. ^ Sassoon, Siegried (1918). The Investiture  – via Wikisource.
  6. ^ "Scout Investiture Fact Sheet" (PDF). 4 September 2012.
  7. ^ "Scout Investiture Ceremony". ScoutDocs Resources for Scouting in Canada. Retrieved 25 September 2020.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Investiture at Wikimedia Commons