It is known in England as the poor knights of Windsor, which is the same phrase used in many countries: “fattiga riddare” in Sweden; “arme ridder” in Danish; and “armer ritter” in German. One theory about how the latter name came about goes as follows: In olden times, one of the symbols of distinction between the gentry and the common herd was that the former were expected to serve dessert at dinner. Knights, of course, were gentry. But not all of them were rich. Those who were not, in order to maintain their status, made do with “armer ritter’,” often served with jam.”
These Knights of Windsor represent those retired miiitary from centuries past, often poor and were given lodging in Windsor Castle. One of their jobs was to pray for the king and the military to be successful in battle.
So how did a dish like French Toast get named “Poor Knights of Windsor”?