Knighthood became an established military guild in many European countries, and it had certain characteristics: a would-be knight would undertake strict military training from boyhood, including some time as an assistant (an esquire) to a knight with whom he rode to war. He would also have to prove himself worthy according to rules of chivalrous behaviour, generosity, self-denial, bravery and skill at arms.
In former times, no person could be born a Knight: even monarchs and their heirs had to be made Knights. Nowadays, knighthoods are awarded for outstanding achievement or service to the country and are given to men and women.
A Knighthood (or a Damehood, its female equivalent) is the highest honour an individual in the Order of the Royal Honor can achieve.
A woman does not simply become a "lady,"she becomes a "Dame" in her own right."Lady" is what the spouse of knight may be styled, but a woman who has earned the honor on her own merits is styled "Dame" to differentiate her from a simple spouse of an honoree.
But in our Order: Dame and Lady have the same meaning.
When a man is awarded a knighthood he becomes a " Knight " and a woman becomes a " Dame/Lady ".