le Compaignons de la Roine, li Chevaliers de la Roine
A body of knights lesser in status than the Knights of the Round Table (though arguably, at their inception, greater in skill).
The Queen’s Knights were, for the most part, skilled but unseasoned warriors who had only recently been knighted and wished to win honor. They had an unfriendly rivalry with the Round Table. Queen’s Knights carried only plain white shields to signify their position. When a vacancy opened on the Round Table, it was customary to look first to the Queen’s Knights to fill it.
Lancelot, Gawaine, and many other knights served first as Queen’s Knights before they were promoted to the Round Table.
Vulgate Merlin | 1220-1235
Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin | 1230-1240
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470